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Sample records for ambystoma

  1. Transgenesis in axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khattak, Shahryar; Tanaka, Elly M

    2015-01-01

    Transgenic animals have been indispensable in elucidating and deciphering mechanisms underlying various biological phenomena. In regeneration, transgenic animals expressing fluorescent protein genes have been crucial for identifying the source cells for regeneration and the mechanism of blastema formation. Animals are usually generated by manipulating their genome using various techniques at/in one cell embryo/fertilized egg stage. Here, we describe the generation of germline transgenic axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) using the I-SceI meganuclease and Tol2 transposase.

  2. Cutaneous mastocytomas in the neotenic caudate amphibians Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl) and Ambystoma tigrinun (tiger salamander)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harshbarger, J.C.; Chang, S.C.; DeLanney, L.E.; Rose, F.L.; Green, D.E.

    1999-01-01

    Spontaneous mastocytomas studied in 18 axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) and six tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) were gray-white, uni- to multilobular cutaneous protrusions from 2mm to 2cm in diameter. Tumors were moderately cellular unencapsulated masses that usually infiltrated the dermis and hypodermis with the destruction of intervening tissues. Some tumors were invading superficial bundles of the underlying skeletal muscle. Tumors consisted of mitotically active cells derived from a single lineage but showing a range of differentiation. Immature cells had nearly smooth to lightly cleft or folded basophilic nuclei bordered by a band of cytoplasm with few cytoplasmic processes and containing a few small uniform eccentric granules. Mature cells had basophilic nuclei with deep clefts or folds and abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm with multiple long intertwining cytoplasmic extensions packed with metachromatic granules. The axolotls were old individuals from an inbred laboratory colony. The tiger salamanders were wild animals from a single polluted pond. They could have been old and inbred. Both groups were neotenic. These are the first mastocytomas discovered in cold-blooded animals.

  3. Resegmentation in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piekarski, Nadine; Olsson, Lennart

    2014-02-01

    The segmental series of somites in the vertebrate embryo gives rise to the axial skeleton. In amniote models, single vertebrae are derived from the sclerotome of two adjacent somites. This process, known as resegmentation, is well-studied using the quail-chick chimeric system, but the presumed generality of resegmentation across vertebrates remains poorly evaluated. Resegmentation has been questioned in anamniotes, given that the sclerotome is much smaller and lacks obvious differentiation between cranial and caudal portions. Here, we provide the first experimental evidence that resegmentation does occur in a species of amphibian. Fate mapping of individual somites in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) revealed that individual vertebrae receive cells from two adjacent somites as in the chicken. These findings suggest that large size and segmentation of the sclerotome into distinct cranial and caudal portions are not requirements for resegmentation. Our results, in addition to those for zebrafish, indicate that resegmentation is a general process in building the vertebral column in vertebrates, although it may be achieved in different ways in different groups. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Transcriptional landscapes of Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caballero-Pérez, Juan; Espinal-Centeno, Annie; Falcon, Francisco; García-Ortega, Luis F; Curiel-Quesada, Everardo; Cruz-Hernández, Andrés; Bako, Laszlo; Chen, Xuemei; Martínez, Octavio; Alberto Arteaga-Vázquez, Mario; Herrera-Estrella, Luis; Cruz-Ramírez, Alfredo

    2018-01-15

    The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is the vertebrate model system with the highest regeneration capacity. Experimental tools established over the past 100 years have been fundamental to start unraveling the cellular and molecular basis of tissue and limb regeneration. In the absence of a reference genome for the Axolotl, transcriptomic analysis become fundamental to understand the genetic basis of regeneration. Here we present one of the most diverse transcriptomic data sets for Axolotl by profiling coding and non-coding RNAs from diverse tissues. We reconstructed a population of 115,906 putative protein coding mRNAs as full ORFs (including isoforms). We also identified 352 conserved miRNAs and 297 novel putative mature miRNAs. Systematic enrichment analysis of gene expression allowed us to identify tissue-specific protein-coding transcripts. We also found putative novel and conserved microRNAs which potentially target mRNAs which are reported as important disease candidates in heart and liver. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Thyroxine-induced metamorphosis in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coots, Peggy S; Seifert, Ashley W

    2015-01-01

    The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) has remained an important model for regeneration and developmental biology for over a century. Although axolotls in captive-bred colonies usually exist in an aquatic form, they retain the ability to undergo metamorphosis following exposure to thyroid hormone. Here we present a robust method for inducing metamorphosis in adult axolotls that results in high survivability and produces terrestrial animals that can be maintained in long-term captivity.

  6. Gene order data from a model amphibian (Ambystoma: new perspectives on vertebrate genome structure and evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Voss S Randal

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Because amphibians arise from a branch of the vertebrate evolutionary tree that is juxtaposed between fishes and amniotes, they provide important comparative perspective for reconstructing character changes that have occurred during vertebrate evolution. Here, we report the first comparative study of vertebrate genome structure that includes a representative amphibian. We used 491 transcribed sequences from a salamander (Ambystoma genetic map and whole genome assemblies for human, mouse, rat, dog, chicken, zebrafish, and the freshwater pufferfish Tetraodon nigroviridis to compare gene orders and rearrangement rates. Results Ambystoma has experienced a rate of genome rearrangement that is substantially lower than mammalian species but similar to that of chicken and fish. Overall, we found greater conservation of genome structure between Ambystoma and tetrapod vertebrates, nevertheless, 57% of Ambystoma-fish orthologs are found in conserved syntenies of four or more genes. Comparisons between Ambystoma and amniotes reveal extensive conservation of segmental homology for 57% of the presumptive Ambystoma-amniote orthologs. Conclusion Our analyses suggest relatively constant interchromosomal rearrangement rates from the euteleost ancestor to the origin of mammals and illustrate the utility of amphibian mapping data in establishing ancestral amniote and tetrapod gene orders. Comparisons between Ambystoma and amniotes reveal some of the key events that have structured the human genome since diversification of the ancestral amniote lineage.

  7. Acid precipitation and reproductive success of Ambystoma salamanders

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pough, R H; Wilson, R E

    1976-01-01

    The two species of mole salamander that occur in the Ithaca, New York, region (Ambystoma maculatum and A. jeffersonianum) breed in temporary ponds that are formed by accumulation of melted snow and spring rains. Water in many of these pools during the breeding season is acid; pH values as low as 3.5 have been measured. In laboratory experiments A. maculatum tolerated pHs from 6 to 10 and had greatest hatching success at pH 7 to 9. Ambystoma Jeffersonianum tolerated pH 4 to 8 and was most successful at pH 5 to 6. Mortality rose abruptly beyond the tolerance limits. The pH optimum shifted upward with increasing temperature for A. jeffersonianum and downward for A. maculatum. Judging from our laboratory studies, the acidity measured in breeding ponds should cause mortality in A. maculatum and permit normal development in A. jeffersonianum. In a four-year study of a large acidic vernal pond, 938 adult A. maculatum produced 486 metamorphosed juveniles (0.52 juvenile/adult), while 686 adult A. jeffersonianum produced 2157 juveniles (3.14 juveniles/adult). Because the effects of acid precipitation on the salamanders' breeding ponds are cumulative from year to year, profound changes in the salamander populations can be anticipated.

  8. Acid precipitation and reproductive success of Ambystoma salamanders

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pough, F H; Wilson, R E

    1977-03-01

    The two species of mole salamander that occur in the Ithaca, New York, region (Ambystoma maculatum and A. jeffersonianum) breed in temporary ponds that are formed by accumulation of melted snow and spring rains. Water in many of these pools during the breeding season is acid; pH values as low as 3.5 have been measured. In laboratory experiments A. maculatum tolerated pHs from 6 to 10 and had greatest hatching success at pH 7 to 9. Ambystoma jeffersonianum tolerated pH 4 to 8 and was most successful at pH 5 to 6. Mortality rose abruptly beyond the tolerance limits. The pH optimum shifted upward with increasing temperature for A. jeffersonianum and downward for A. maculatum. Judging from our laboratory studies, the acidity measured in breeding ponds should cause mortality in A. maculatum and permit normal development in A. jeffersonianum. In a 4 yr study of a large, acidic vernal pond, 938 adult A. maculatum produced 486 metamorphosed juveniles (0.52 juvenile/adult), while 686 adult A. jeffersonianum produced 2157 juveniles (3.14 juveniles/adult). Because the effects of acid precipitation on the salamanders' breeding ponds are cumulative from year to year, profound changes in the salamander populations can be anticipated.

  9. Profiling neurotransmitter receptor expression in the Ambystoma mexicanum brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes-Ruiz, Jorge Mauricio; Limon, Agenor; Korn, Matthew J; Nakamura, Paul A; Shirkey, Nicole J; Wong, Jamie K; Miledi, Ricardo

    2013-03-22

    Ability to regenerate limbs and central nervous system (CNS) is unique to few vertebrates, most notably the axolotl (Ambystoma sp.). However, despite the fact the neurotransmitter receptors are involved in axonal regeneration, little is known regarding its expression profile. In this project, RT-PCR and qPCR were performed to gain insight into the neurotransmitter receptors present in Ambystoma. Its functional ability was studied by expressing axolotl receptors in Xenopus laevis oocytes by either injection of mRNA or by direct microtransplantation of brain membranes. Oocytes injected with axolotl mRNA expressed ionotropic receptors activated by GABA, aspartate+glycine and kainate, as well as metabotropic receptors activated by acetylcholine and glutamate. Interestingly, we did not see responses following the application of serotonin. Membranes from the axolotl brain were efficiently microtransplanted into Xenopus oocytes and two types of native GABA receptors that differed in the temporal course of their responses and affinities to GABA were observed. Results of this study are necessary for further characterization of axolotl neurotransmitter receptors and may be useful for guiding experiments aimed at understanding activity-dependant limb and CNS regeneration. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Temperature and ontogenetic effects on color change in the larval salamander species Ambystoma barbouri and Ambystoma texanum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia, T S; Straus, R; Sih, A [Univ. of Kentucky, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Lexington, Kentucky (United States)

    2003-04-01

    Temperature has been shown to affect body color in several species of amphibians. The interaction between color and temperature may also change over larval ontogeny, perhaps because of age-related or seasonal changes in selection pressures on color. We quantified the effects of temperature on the color of the salamander sister species Ambystoma barbouri and Ambystoma texanum over larval ontogeny. We found that early-stage larvae responded to cold temperatures with a dark color relative to that of the warm temperature response. Both species then exhibited an ontogenetic shift in larval color, with larvae becoming lighter with age. Interestingly, older larvae showed decreased plasticity in color change to temperature when compared with younger stages. Older A. texanum larvae exhibited a reversal in the direction of color change, with cold temperatures inducing a lighter color relative to warm temperatures. We suggest that the overall pattern of color change (a plastic color response to temperature for young larvae, a progressive lightening of larvae over development, and an apparent loss of color plasticity to temperature over ontogeny) can be plausibly explained by seasonal changes in environmental factors (temperature, ultraviolet radiation) selecting for body color. (author)

  11. Temperature and ontogenetic effects on color change in the larval salamander species Ambystoma barbouri and Ambystoma texanum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garcia, T.S.; Straus, R.; Sih, A.

    2003-01-01

    Temperature has been shown to affect body color in several species of amphibians. The interaction between color and temperature may also change over larval ontogeny, perhaps because of age-related or seasonal changes in selection pressures on color. We quantified the effects of temperature on the color of the salamander sister species Ambystoma barbouri and Ambystoma texanum over larval ontogeny. We found that early-stage larvae responded to cold temperatures with a dark color relative to that of the warm temperature response. Both species then exhibited an ontogenetic shift in larval color, with larvae becoming lighter with age. Interestingly, older larvae showed decreased plasticity in color change to temperature when compared with younger stages. Older A. texanum larvae exhibited a reversal in the direction of color change, with cold temperatures inducing a lighter color relative to warm temperatures. We suggest that the overall pattern of color change (a plastic color response to temperature for young larvae, a progressive lightening of larvae over development, and an apparent loss of color plasticity to temperature over ontogeny) can be plausibly explained by seasonal changes in environmental factors (temperature, ultraviolet radiation) selecting for body color. (author)

  12. Pathological features of olfactory neuroblastoma in an axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shioda, Chieko; Uchida, Kazuyuki; Nakayama, Hiroyuki

    2011-08-01

    A one-year-old, female Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) had a rough-surfaced, polypoid, pink tumor mass of approximately 10 mm in diameter in the oral cavity. Histologically, the tumor extended from the ethmoturbinate region and into the oral cavity and had replaced some of the maxillary bone tissue. The tumor mass was composed of a lobular architecture of small round-shaped tumor cells with occasional Flexner-Wintersteiner-like rosette formation. There were no metastatic lesions in the other organs. Immunohistochemically, the tumor cells were partly positive for several neural markers (class III beta-tubulin, S-100 protein, and doublecortin) and intensely positive for an epithelial marker (cytokeratin AE1/AE3). These results suggest that the present tumor originated from neuroectodermal tissue. Considering the location and histological and immunohistochemical features of the tumor, a diagnosis of olfactory neuroblastoma was made.

  13. Infection of spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) with Ichthyophonus-like organisms in Virginia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ware, Joy L; Viverette, Cathy; Kleopfer, John D; Pletcher, Leeanna; Massey, Davis; Wright, Anne

    2008-01-01

    Ichthyophonus-like organisms were found in two free-ranging adult spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) captured within two different vernal ponds in the Virginia Commonwealth University Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences in Charles City County, Virginia. Histopathologic examination of necropsied specimens revealed large spores, often enclosed by granulomas. These enclosed spores resembled those caused by the fish pathogen Ichthyophonus hoeferi. One salamander displayed an externally visible large swelling beneath the jaws. The other lacked macroscopic abnormalities, but histologic sections of ventral muscle revealed early-stage Ichthyophonus-like organisms and minimal granulomatous reactions. This is the first report of Ichthyophonus-like infection of Ambystoma maculatum in Virginia.

  14. Housing and maintenance of Ambystoma mexicanum, the Mexican axolotl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farkas, Johanna E; Monaghan, James R

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to assemble a significant amount of information on Ambystoma mexicanum, the axolotl salamander, to assist in the basic knowledge needed to raise, breed, and study most aspects of axolotl biology. It is important to understand the basic biology of the axolotl in order to make informed decisions on their proper care and use in experiments. Therefore, we will provide necessary information to the non-herpetologist that will assist in their study of this unique and fascinating animal. We also aim to provide a resource on the general anatomy, behavior, and experimental tips specific to the Mexican axolotl that will be of use to most axolotl laboratories. Axolotls have been actively researched since the 1860s, giving testament to their relatively straightforward maintenance and their versatility as an animal model for development and regeneration. Interest in using the axolotl in laboratory research has grown tremendously over the past decade, so dedicated resources to support the study of this species are needed and encouraged.

  15. Buoyancy disorders in pet axolotls Ambystoma mexicanum: three cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takami, Yoshinori; Une, Yumi

    2018-01-31

    As far as we are aware, there are no previous reports on the pathologic conditions of buoyancy disorders in Ambystoma mexicanum. Herein, we describe various clinical test results, clinical outcomes, and the pathological findings of an experimental pneumonectomy procedure in 3 A. mexicanum exhibiting abnormal buoyancy. The 3 pet A. mexicanum were adults, and their respective ages and body weights were 1, 5, and 6 yr and 48, 55, and 56 g. Two of these cases were confirmed via radiographic examination to have free air within the body cavity, and all 3 cases were found via ultrasonography to have an acoustic shadow within the body cavity and were diagnosed with pneumocoelom. Lung perforations were detected macroscopically in 2 of the cases, and all 3 cases had fibrosis in the caudal ends of the lungs. Removal of the lung lesions eliminated the abnormal buoyancy in all 3 cases. We concluded that air had leaked into the body cavity from the lungs, and we propose that lung lesions are an important cause of buoyancy disorders in A. mexicanum.

  16. Reproductive biology of Ambystoma salamanders in the southeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glorioso, Brad M.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Hefner, J. M.

    2015-01-01

    Reproductive aspects of Ambystoma salamanders were investigated at sites in Louisiana (2010–12) and Mississippi (2013). Three species occurred at the Louisiana site, Spotted Salamander (A. maculatum), Marbled Salamander (A. opacum), and Mole Salamander (A. talpoideum), whereas only Spotted Salamanders were studied at the Mississippi site. A total of 162 and 71 egg masses of Spotted Salamanders were examined at the Louisiana and Mississippi sites, respectively. Significantly more Spotted Salamander eggs per egg mass were observed at the Mississippi site (x̄ = 78.2) than the Louisiana site (x̄ = 53.8; P < 0.001). The mean snout–vent length of female Spotted Salamanders at the Mississippi site (82.9 mm) was significantly larger than the Louisiana site (76.1 mm; P < 0.001). Opaque Spotted Salamander egg masses were not found at the Mississippi site, but accounted for 11% of examined egg masses at the Louisiana site. The mean number of eggs per egg mass at the Louisiana site did not differ between opaque (47.3) and clear (54.6) egg masses (P = 0.21). A total of 47 egg masses of the Mole Salamander were examined, with a mean number of 6.7 embryos per mass. Twenty-three individual nests of the Marbled Salamander were found either under or in decaying logs in the dry pond basins. There was no difference between the mean numbers of eggs per mass of attended nests (93.0) versus those that were discovered unattended (86.6; P = 0.67). Females tended to place their nests at intermediate heights within the pond basin.

  17. Immunocytochemical localization and immunochemical characterization of an insulin-related peptide in the pancreas of the urodele amphibian, Ambystoma mexicanum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, G N; Hansen, B L; Jørgensen, P N

    1989-01-01

    The pancreas of the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, was investigated by immunocytochemical methods for the presence of immunoreactivity to a number of antisera raised against mammalian insulins. All anti-insulin antisera tested revealed substantial amounts of reaction products confined solely...

  18. Effects of acid precipitation on embryonic mortality of Ambystoma salamanders in the Connecticut Valley of Massachusetts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cook, R P

    1983-01-01

    An investigation of increased embryonic mortality of the spotted salamander Ambystoma maculatum concomitant with breeding pond acidification from acid rainfall in the Connecticut Valley of Massachusetts analyzes the pH and chemistry of rain and pond water and monitored embryonic mortality in 1976 and 1977. Although acid rain continues to occur in the area and Ambystoma breeding ponds are acidic, the average pH of six ponds dropped from 5.62 to 5.10 during the study. Pond pH decreased up to 0.75 pH units following heavy rainfall. Despite this, embryonic mortality of spotted and Jefferson salamanders was low, and no significant correlation between pond pH and percent embryonic mortality was found. The size of present populations and the embryonic acid tolerance exhibited by the salamander indicate that acid rain has not had an effect in this location. 22 references, 2 figures, 4 tables.

  19. Evidence for balancing selection at the DAB locus in the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richman, A D; Herrera, G; Reynoso, V H; Méndez, G; Zambrano, L

    2007-12-01

    The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) has been characterized as immunodeficient, and the absence of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II polymorphism has been cited as a possible explanation. Here we present evidence for considerable allelic polymorphism at the MHC class II DAB locus for a sample of wild-caught axolotls. Evidence that these sequences are the product of balancing selection for disease resistance is discussed.

  20. Intracellular ionic compartmentation, electrical membrane properties, and cell membrane permeability before and during first cleavage in the Ambystoma egg

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Laat, S.W. de; Wouters, W.; Silva Pimenta Guarda, M.M. Marques da; Silva Guarda, M.A. da

    The intracellular ionic distribution in uncleaved and cleaving Ambystoma eggs was investigated by analysing the influx of 3H2O, by determining the total content of Na+, K+ and Cl− in extracts of eggs at different stages by both flame spectrophotometry and ion-selective microelectrodes, and by the

  1. Time--temperature relation of embryonic development in the northwestern salamander, Ambystoma gracile

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, H A

    1976-04-01

    A field and laboratory study on temperature-related embryonic development of Ambystoma gracile was made on a population from northwestern Washington. Natural spawning began in the beaver pond during early March, and the duration of embryonic development (stages 1 to 46) was about 62 days. Average water temperature in the pond during embryonic development was 8.5/sup 0/C (range, 4.4 to 14.3/sup 0/C). The laboratory data of embryonic development at constant temperatures show that the limits of temperature tolerance are about 5 to 22.5/sup 0/C. Rate of development was measured by determining time required to develop from first cleavage (stage 2) to gill circulation (stage 37); representative rates are 12.7 days at 20/sup 0/C, 27 days at 12/sup 0/C, and 89 days at 7/sup 0/C. Embryos of A. gracile have the slowest rate of development when compared with embryos of four other species of Ambystoma (maculatum, mexicanum, tigrinum, and jeffersonianum) and with embryos of three Pacific Northwest frogs (Ascaphus truei, Rana aurora, and Hyla regilla).

  2. Temporal response of the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum to 3,000 years of climatic variation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Long Webb

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Amphibians are sensitive indicators of environmental conditions and show measurable responses, such as changes in phenology, abundance and range limits to local changes in precipitation and temperature regimes. Amphibians offer unique opportunities to study the important ecological and evolutionary implications of responses in life history characteristics to climatic change. We analyzed a late-Holocene fossil record of the Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum for evidence of population-level changes in body size and paedomorphosis to climatic change over the last 3000 years. Results We found a significant difference in body size index between paedomorphic and metamorphic individuals during the time interval dominated by the Medieval Warm Period. There is a consistent ratio of paedomorphic to metamorphic specimens through the entire 3000 years, demonstrating that not all life history characteristics of the population were significantly altered by changes in climate on this timescale. Conclusion The fossil record of Ambystoma tigrinum we used spans an ecologically relevant timescale appropriate for understanding population and community response to projected climatic change. The population-level responses we documented are concordant with expectations based on modern environmental studies, and yield insight into population-level patterns across hundreds of generations, especially the independence of different life history characteristics. These conclusions lead us to offer general predictions about the future response of this species based on likely scenarios of climatic warming in the Rocky Mountain region.

  3. Probability of Regenerating a Normal Limb After Bite Injury in the Mexican Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Sierra; Muzinic, Laura; Muzinic, Christopher; Niemiller, Matthew L; Voss, S Randal

    2014-06-01

    Multiple factors are thought to cause limb abnormalities in amphibian populations by altering processes of limb development and regeneration. We examined adult and juvenile axolotls ( Ambystoma mexicanum ) in the Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center (AGSC) for limb and digit abnormalities to investigate the probability of normal regeneration after bite injury. We observed that 80% of larval salamanders show evidence of bite injury at the time of transition from group housing to solitary housing. Among 717 adult axolotls that were surveyed, which included solitary-housed males and group-housed females, approximately half presented abnormalities, including examples of extra or missing digits and limbs, fused digits, and digits growing from atypical anatomical positions. Bite injury likely explains these limb defects, and not abnormal development, because limbs with normal anatomy regenerated after performing rostral amputations. We infer that only 43% of AGSC larvae will present four anatomically normal looking adult limbs after incurring a bite injury. Our results show regeneration of normal limb anatomy to be less than perfect after bite injury.

  4. Distribution of the Sonora Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium stebbinsi) in Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R.; Muths, Erin L.; Rorabaugh, James C.; Lemos Espinal, Julio A.; Sigafus, Brent H.; Chambert, Thierry A.; Carreon Arroyo, Gerardo; Hurtado Felix, David; Toyos Martinez, Daniel; Jones, Thomas R.

    2016-01-01

    The Sonoran Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium stebbinsi Lowe, 1954) was listed as federally endangered in the USA in 1997 (USFWS 1997). In the USA, the distribution of A. mavortium stebbinsi is limited to the San Rafael Valley (approximately 567 km2), between the Sierra San Antonio (called the Patagonia Mountains in Arizona) and Huachuca Mountains, and south of the Canelo Hills, Arizona (Fig. 1). The USA listing was triggered by loss of natural wetland habitats, threats from invasive predators, frequent die-offs from disease, introgression with the introduced Barred Tiger Salamander (A. mavortium mavortium), and small range and number of breeding sites that increases susceptibility to stochastic events (USFWS 1997). Small population sizes and limited gene flow have caused inbreeding, which may further reduce population viability and the potential for recovery (Jones et al. 1988; Storfer et al. 2014). 

  5. A retrospective study of diseases in Ambystoma mexicanum: a report of 97 cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takami, Yoshinori; Une, Yumi

    2017-06-16

    Ambystoma mexicanum kept as pets are affected by a variety of diseases. However, no reports regarding the incidence of specific diseases are available. This study aimed to identify the diseases that occur frequently in this species by surveying the incidence of conditions in pet A. mexicanum specimens brought to a veterinary hospital. The sample comprised 97 pet A. mexicanum individuals brought to the authors' hospital during the 82-month period, i.e., from January 2008 to October 2014. In total, 116 diseases were identified. The most common disease was hydrocoelom (32 cases; 27.5% of all cases). Elucidating the pathogenesis of hydrocoelom, which has a high prevalence rate, is vital to maintaining the long-term health of A. mexicanum pets.

  6. Misexpression experiment of Tbx5 in axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) hindlimb blastema.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimokawa, Takashi; Kominami, Rieko; Yasutaka, Satoru; Shinohara, Harumichi

    2013-01-01

    Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) have the ability to regenerate amputated limbs throughout their life span. In the present study, we attempted to elucidate how axolotls can specify limb type correctly during the regeneration process. We misexpressed Tbx5 in regenerating hindlimb blastema, and consequently a forelimb-like hindlimb regenerated from the hindlimb blastema. On the other hand, no change was observed in Tbx5-overexpressing forelimb blastema, and thus we considered that Tbx5 plays a key role in the specification of forelimb during the regeneration process of axolotl limbs. However, axolotls' fore- and hindlimbs have very similar structures except for the number of fingers, and it was very difficult to judge whether the forelimb-like regenerate was a true forelimb or merely a forelimb-like hindlimb. Therefore, in order to confirm our conclusion, we have to investigate other genes that are expressed differentially between fore- and hindlimbs in future experiments.

  7. Effect of water quality on the feeding ecology of axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego de Jesus Chaparro-Herrera

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Ambystoma mexicanum, a highly endangered species, is endemic to lake Xochimilco (Mexico City, Mexico which currently is being negatively affected by the introduction of Oreochromis niloticus (Tilapia and water pollution. During the first weeks of development, when mortality is the highest, Ambystoma mexicanumdepends on a diet of zooplankton. The aim of this study was to check whether contamination levels in lake Xochimilco influence zooplankton consumption by similar size classes of A. mexicanum and Oreochromis niloticus. In this study, we analysed changes in the functional responses and prey preference of A. mexicanum and larval Tilapia in two media, one with filtered lake Xochimilco water and another one with reconstituted water. As prey we used cladocerans (Moina macrocopa, Alona glabra, Macrothrix triserialis and Simocephalus vetulus and ostracods (Heterocypris incongruens. Zooplankton was offered in 5 different densities, 10, 20, 40, 80, 160 ind./mL. Prey consumption by A. mexicanum varied in relation to the species offered and age of the larvae. From the first week to the eighth week prey consumption by A. mexicanum increased by 57%. Our functional response tests showed that regardless of the prey type, prey consumption by A. mexicanum was lower in the contaminated water from lake Xochimilco. Among the zooplankton offered in the contaminated environment predators preferred smaller and slower moving microcrustaceans such as Alona glabra and Heterocypris incongruens. Furthermore, O. niloticus preferred prey such as Moina macrocopa and Macrothrix triserialis in the contaminated medium and was more voracious than the axolotl. Our results indicate that both water quality of the lake and the presence of the more resistant exotic fish adversely impact the survival of this endangered amphibian.

  8. Evaluation of the anesthetic effects of MS222 in the adult Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zullian C

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Chiara Zullian,1 Aurore Dodelet-Devillers,1 Stéphane Roy,2 Pascal Vachon1 1Département de Biomédecine Vétérinaire, Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, Saint-Hyacinthe, 2Département de Stomatologie, Faculté de Médecine Dentaire, Montréal, Québec, Canada Abstract: The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum is a unique research model in several fields of medicine, where surgical and invasive procedures may be required. As yet, little is known about the efficacy of MS222 (tricaine methanesulfonate, which is the most commonly used anesthetic agent in amphibians. The main objectives of this study were to evaluate the anesthetic effects and physiological changes in adult axolotls following a 20-minute immersion bath, containing progressive MS222 concentrations starting at 0.1%. Depth of anesthesia and physiological changes were evaluated every 15 minutes post-MS222 exposure with the following parameters: righting behavior, withdrawal reflex, acetic acid test response, heart rate, and blood oxygen saturation, as well as cloacal and body surface temperatures. A 20-minute exposure in a 0.1% MS222 immersion bath (n=6 animals had no anesthetic effects on adult axolotls after 20 minutes of exposure. With a 0.2% MS222 solution, all axolotls (n=9 were deeply anesthetized at 15 minutes, and 80% were still unresponsive at 30 minutes postexposure. Blood oxygen saturation and heart rate were slightly, but significantly, increased when compared with the baseline value and remained stable up to recovery. There was no significant increase in surface and cloaca temperatures, compared with baseline. With the 0.4% MS222 solution, the duration of anesthesia lasted for 90 minutes to at least 120 minutes (n=3 animals and this concentration was deemed too high. In conclusion, a 20-minute immersion bath with 0.2% MS222 may be used for short procedures (15–30 minutes requiring anesthesia of adult axolotls. Keywords: Ambystoma mexicanum

  9. Evolutionary genetics of metamorphic failure using wild-caught vs. laboratory axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voss, S R; Shaffer, H B

    2000-09-01

    In many organisms metamorphosis allows for an ecologically important habitat-shift from water to land. However, in some salamanders an adaptive life cycle mode has evolved that is characterized by metamorphic failure (paedomorphosis); these species remain in the aquatic habitat throughout the life cycle. Perhaps the most famous example of metamorphic failure is the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), which has become a focal species for developmental biology since it was introduced into laboratory culture in the 1800s. Our previous genetic linkage mapping analysis, using an interspecific crossing design, demonstrated that a major gene effect underlies the expression of metamorphic failure in laboratory stocks of the Mexican axolotl. Here, we repeated this experiment using A. mexicanum that were sampled directly from their natural habitat at Lake Xochimilco, Mexico. We found no significant association between the major gene and metamorphic failure when wild-caught axolotls were used in the experimental design, although there is evidence of a smaller genetic effect. Thus, there appears to be genetic variation among Mexican axolotls (and possibly A. tigrinum tigrinum) at loci that contribute to metamorphic failure. This result suggests a role for more than one mutation and possibly artificial selection in the evolution of the major gene effect in the laboratory Mexican axolotl.

  10. Organophosphorus pesticides effect on early stages of the axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum (Amphibia: Caudata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robles-Mendoza, C; García-Basilio, C; Cram-Heydrich, S; Hernández-Quiroz, M; Vanegas-Pérez, C

    2009-02-01

    Ambystoma mexicanum is an endemic salamander of Xochimilco, a wetland of the basin of Mexico valley. Nowadays, axolotl populations are decreasing due environmental stressors. Particularly, studies about organophosphorus pesticides (OPPs; i.e. chlorpyrifos and malathion) toxicity are of great importance due to their intensive use in agricultural activities in Xochimilco. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate under controlled conditions the toxicity of chlorpyrifos (CPF) and malathion (MLT) on embryos and larvae (stage 44 and 54) of A. mexicanum. Embryos and larvae were exposure 96h from 0.5 to 3mg CPFL(-1) and from 10 to 30mg MLTL(-1) in independent tests. Embryos at the end of this period were maintained 9d without pesticide in order to identify possible recuperation. Differences obtained in mortality, hatching success, development, morphological abnormalities, behaviour and activity, suggest that toxicity of CPF and MLT differs in embryos and larval stages. Embryos were less sensitive to OPPs acute exposure than axolotl larvae; additionally, toxicity of CPF in larval stages was greater than MLT. On the other hand, data obtained in axolotl embryos during the period of recuperation to CPF in particular as delay and inhibition of development, malformations and success of hatching, indicated that these responses turned out more sensitive than mortality. This study allowed to identify the toxicological potential of OPPs on early developmental stages of A. mexicanum and it is a valuable contribution for the future management of the axolotl wild population.

  11. The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), a neotenic amphibian, expresses functional thyroid hormone receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safi, Rachid; Bertrand, Stéphanie; Marchand, Oriane; Duffraisse, Marilyne; de Luze, Amaury; Vanacker, Jean-Marc; Maraninchi, Marie; Margotat, Alain; Demeneix, Barbara; Laudet, Vincent

    2004-02-01

    Neotenic amphibians such as the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) are often unable to undergo metamorphosis under natural conditions. It is thought that neoteny represents a deviation from the standard course of amphibian ontogeny, affecting the thyroid axis at different levels from the central nervous system to peripheral organs. Thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) that bind the thyroid hormone (TH) T(3) have been described in axolotl. However, the full sequences of TR were needed to better characterize the TH response and to be able to assess their functional capacity at the molecular level. We report that each of the alpha and beta axolotl TRs bind both DNA and TH, and they activate transcription in response to TH in a mammalian cell-based transient transfection assay. Moreover, both TRs are expressed in axolotl tissues. Interestingly, each TR gene generates alternatively spliced isoforms, harboring partial or total deletions of the ligand-binding domain, which are expressed in vivo. Further, we found that in the axolotl, TH regulates the expression of stromelysin 3 and collagenase 3, which are TH target genes in Xenopus. Taken together, these results suggest that axolotl TRs are functional and that the molecular basis of neoteny in the axolotl is not linked to a major defect in TH response in peripheral tissues.

  12. Electron microscopy of the amphibian model systems Xenopus laevis and Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurth, Thomas; Berger, Jürgen; Wilsch-Bräuninger, Michaela; Kretschmar, Susanne; Cerny, Robert; Schwarz, Heinz; Löfberg, Jan; Piendl, Thomas; Epperlein, Hans H

    2010-01-01

    In this chapter we provide a set of different protocols for the ultrastructural analysis of amphibian (Xenopus, axolotl) tissues, mostly of embryonic origin. For Xenopus these methods include: (1) embedding gastrulae and tailbud embryos into Spurr's resin for TEM, (2) post-embedding labeling of methacrylate (K4M) and cryosections through adult and embryonic epithelia for correlative LM and TEM, and (3) pre-embedding labeling of embryonic tissues with silver-enhanced nanogold. For the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) we present the following methods: (1) SEM of migrating neural crest (NC) cells; (2) SEM and TEM of extracellular matrix (ECM) material; (3) Cryo-SEM of extracellular matrix (ECM) material after cryoimmobilization; and (4) TEM analysis of hyaluronan using high-pressure freezing and HABP labeling. These methods provide exemplary approaches for a variety of questions in the field of amphibian development and regeneration, and focus on cell biological issues that can only be answered with fine structural imaging methods, such as electron microscopy. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Optimized axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) husbandry, breeding, metamorphosis, transgenesis and tamoxifen-mediated recombination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khattak, Shahryar; Murawala, Prayag; Andreas, Heino; Kappert, Verena; Schuez, Maritta; Sandoval-Guzmán, Tatiana; Crawford, Karen; Tanaka, Elly M

    2014-03-01

    The axolotl (Mexican salamander, Ambystoma mexicanum) has become a very useful model organism for studying limb and spinal cord regeneration because of its high regenerative capacity. Here we present a protocol for successfully mating and breeding axolotls in the laboratory throughout the year, for metamorphosing axolotls by a single i.p. injection and for axolotl transgenesis using I-SceI meganuclease and the mini Tol2 transposon system. Tol2-mediated transgenesis provides different features and advantages compared with I-SceI-mediated transgenesis, and it can result in more than 30% of animals expressing the transgene throughout their bodies so that they can be directly used for experimentation. By using Tol2-mediated transgenesis, experiments can be performed within weeks (e.g., 5-6 weeks for obtaining 2-3-cm-long larvae) without the need to establish germline transgenic lines (which take 12-18 months). In addition, we describe here tamoxifen-induced Cre-mediated recombination in transgenic axolotls.

  14. Ultrastructure of the external gill epithelium of the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum with reference to ionic transport.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarial, M S; Wilkins, J H

    2003-10-01

    The ultrastructure of the external gill epithelium of the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, has been examined using conventional transmission electron microscopy to elucidate its role in ionic transport. Four cell types are identified in the gill filament and primary gill bar epithelium. These are granular, ciliated, Leydig and basal cells. A fifth cell type, the flat mitochondria-rich cell is only found in the gill bar epithelium. The predominant granular cells display microvilli at their surface and their cytoplasm contains abundant mitochondria, rough endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi complexes, vesicles and PAS+ secretory granules that are extruded at the surface, which along with secretions from the Leydig cells form a mucous coat. The granular cells are joined apically by junctional complexes consisting of zonulae occludens, zonulae adherens and desmosomes. The lateral membranes of granular cells enclose large intercellular spaces that are closed at the apical ends but remain open at the basal ends adjoining capillaries. In AgNO3-treated axolotl, the gills become darkly stained, the silver grains penetrate apical membranes and appear in the cytoplasm, accumulating near the lateral membranes and also enter the intercellular spaces. These findings are consistent with the dual role of the gill epithelium in mucus production and active ionic transport.

  15. A novel protein involved in heart development in Ambystoma mexicanum is localized in endoplasmic reticulum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, P; Zhang, C; Huang, X P; Poda, M; Akbas, F; Lemanski, S L; Erginel-Unaltuna, N; Lemanski, L F

    2008-11-01

    The discovery of the naturally occurring cardiac non-function (c) animal strain in Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl) provides a valuable animal model to study cardiomyocyte differentiation. In homozygous mutant animals (c/c), rhythmic contractions of the embryonic heart are absent due to a lack of organized myofibrils. We have previously cloned a partial sequence of a peptide cDNA (N1) from an anterior-endoderm-conditioned-medium RNA library that had been shown to be able to rescue the mutant phenotype. In the current studies we have fully cloned the N1 full length cDNA sequence from the library. N1 protein has been detected in both adult heart and skeletal muscle but not in any other adult tissues. GFP-tagged expression of the N1 protein has revealed localization of the N1 protein in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Results from in situ hybridization experiments have confirmed the dramatic decrease of expression of N1 mRNA in mutant (c/c) embryos indicating that the N1 gene is involved in heart development.

  16. Proteinaceous Pheromone Homologs Identified from the Cloacal Gland Transcriptome of a Male Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin W Hall

    Full Text Available Pheromones play an important role in modifying vertebrate behavior, especially during courtship and mating. Courtship behavior in urodele amphibians often includes female exposure to secretions from the cloacal gland, as well as other scent glands. The first vertebrate proteinaceous pheromone discovered, the decapeptide sodefrin, is a female attracting pheromone secreted by the cloacal gland of male Cynops pyrrhogaster. Other proteinaceous pheromones in salamanders have been shown to elicit responses from females towards conspecific males. The presence and levels of expression of proteinaceous pheromones have not been identified in the family Ambystomatidae, which includes several important research models. The objective of this research was therefore to identify putative proteinaceous pheromones from male axolotls, Ambystoma mexicanum, as well as their relative expression levels. The results indicate that axolotls possess two different forms of sodefrin precursor-like factor (alpha and beta, as well as a putative ortholog of plethodontid modulating factor. The beta form of sodefrin precursor-like factor was amongst the most highly expressed transcripts within the cloacal gland. The ortholog of plethodontid modulating factor was expressed at a level equivalent to the beta sodefrin precursor-like factor. The results are from a single male axolotl; therefore, we are unable to assess how representative our results may be. Nevertheless, the presence of these highly expressed proteinaceous pheromones suggests that male axolotls use multiple chemical cues to attract female conspecifics. Behavioral assays would indicate whether the putative protein pheromones elicit courtship activity from female axolotls.

  17. Gallium nitrate: effects on cartilage during limb regeneration in the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tassava, Roy A; Mendenhall, Luciara; Apseloff, Glen; Gerber, Nicholas

    2002-09-01

    Gallium nitrate, a drug shown to have efficacy in Paget's disease of bone, hypercalcemia of malignancy, and a variety of experimental autoimmune diseases, also inhibits the growth of some types of cancer. We examined dose and timing of administration of gallium nitrate on limb regeneration in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum. Administered by intraperitoneal injection, gallium nitrate inhibited limb regeneration in a dose-dependent manner. Gallium nitrate initially suppressed epithelial wound healing and subsequently distorted both anterior-posterior and proximo-distal chondrogenic patterns. Gallium nitrate given at three days after amputation severely inhibited regeneration at high doses (6.25 mg/axolotl) and altered the normal patterning of the regenerates at low doses (3.75 mg/axolotl). Administration of 6.25 mg of gallium nitrate at four or 14 days prior to amputation also inhibited regeneration. In amputated limbs of gallium-treated axolotls, the chondrocytes were lost from inside the radius/ulna. Limbs that regenerated after gallium treatment was terminated showed blastema formation preferentially over the ulna. New cartilage of the regenerate often attached to the sides of the existing radius/ulna proximally into the stump and less so to the distal cut ends. J. Exp. Zool. 293:384-394, 2002. Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  18. Ex vivo generation of a functional and regenerative wound epithelium from axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferris, Donald R; Satoh, Akira; Mandefro, Berhan; Cummings, Gillian M; Gardiner, David M; Rugg, Elizabeth L

    2010-10-01

    Urodele amphibians (salamanders) are unique among adult vertebrates in their ability to regenerate structurally complete and fully functional limbs. Regeneration is a stepwise process that requires interactions between keratinocytes, nerves and fibroblasts. The formation of a wound epithelium covering the amputation site is an early and necessary event in the process but the molecular mechanisms that underlie the role of the wound epithelium in regeneration remain unclear. We have developed an ex vivo model that recapitulates many features of in vivo wound healing. The model comprises a circular explant of axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) limb skin with a central circular, full thickness wound. Re-epithelialization of the wound area is rapid (typically <11 h) and is dependent on metalloproteinase activity. The ex vivo wound epithelium is viable, responds to neuronal signals and is able to participate in ectopic blastema formation and limb regeneration. This ex vivo model provides a reproducible and tractable system in which to study the cellular and molecular events that underlie wound healing and regeneration. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.

  19. Courtship Pheromone Use in a Model Urodele, the Mexican Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maex, Margo; Van Bocxlaer, Ines; Mortier, Anneleen; Proost, Paul; Bossuyt, Franky

    2016-02-04

    Sex pheromones have been shown to constitute a crucial aspect of salamander reproduction. Until now, courtship pheromones of Salamandridae and Plethodontidae have been intensively studied, but information on chemical communication in other urodelan families is essentially lacking. The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum, Ambystomatidae) has a courtship display that suggests a key role for chemical communication in the orchestration of its sexual behavior, but no sex pheromones have yet been characterized from this species. Here we combined whole transcriptome analyses of the male cloaca with proteomic analyses of water in which axolotls were allowed to court to show that male axolotls secrete multiple ca. 20 kDa glycosylated sodefrin precursor-like factor (SPF) proteins during courtship. In combination with phylogenetic analyses, our data show that the male cloaca essentially secretes a courtship-specific clade of SPF proteins that is orthologous to salamandrid courtship pheromones. In addition, we identified an SPF protein for which no orthologs have been described from other salamanders so far. Overall, our study advocates a central role for SPF proteins during the courtship display of axolotls and adds knowledge on pheromone use in a previously unexplored deep evolutionary branch of salamander evolution.

  20. Patterns of spatial and temporal visceral arch muscle development in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ericsson, Rolf; Olsson, Lennart

    2004-08-01

    Vertebrate head development is a classical topic that has received renewed attention during the last decade. Most reports use one of a few model organisms (chicken, mouse, zebrafish) and have focused on molecular mechanisms and the role of the neural crest, while cranial muscle development has received less attention. Here we describe cranial muscle differentiation and morphogenesis in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum. To determine the onset of differentiation we use antibodies against desmin and optical sectioning using confocal laser scanning microscopy on whole-mount immunostained embryos. This technique makes it possible to document the cranial muscle in three dimensions while keeping the specimens intact. Desmin expression starts almost simultaneously in the first, second, and third visceral arch muscles (as in other amphibians studied). Muscle anlagen divide up early into the different elements which constitute the larval cranial musculature. We extend and refine earlier findings, e.g., by documenting a clear division between interhyoideus and interhyoideus posterior. The timing of cranial muscle differentiation differs among vertebrate groups, but seems to be constant within each group. This study provides a morphological foundation for further studies of muscle cell fate and early differentiation. Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  1. DiI Perfusion as a Method for Vascular Visualization in Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saltman, Anna J; Barakat, May; Bryant, Donald M; Brodovskaya, Anastasia; Whited, Jessica L

    2017-06-16

    Perfusion techniques have been used for centuries to visualize the circulation of tissues. Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is a species of salamander that has emerged as an essential model for regeneration studies. Little is known about how revascularization occurs in the context of regeneration in these animals. Here we report a simple method for visualization of the vasculature in axolotl via perfusion of 1,1'-Dioctadecy-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (DiI). DiI is a lipophilic carbocyanine dye that inserts into the plasma membrane of endothelial cells instantaneously. Perfusion is done using a peristaltic pump such that DiI enters the circulation through the aorta. During perfusion, dye flows through the axolotl's blood vessels and incorporates into the lipid bilayer of vascular endothelial cells upon contact. The perfusion procedure takes approximately one hour for an eight-inch axolotl. Immediately after perfusion with DiI, the axolotl can be visualized with a confocal fluorescent microscope. The DiI emits light in the red-orange range when excited with a green fluorescent filter. This DiI perfusion procedure can be used to visualize the vascular structure of axolotls or to demonstrate patterns of revascularization in regenerating tissues.

  2. Functional and structural regeneration in the axolotl heart (Ambystoma mexicanum) after partial ventricular amputation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cano-Martínez, Agustina; Vargas-González, Alvaro; Guarner-Lans, Verónica; Prado-Zayago, Esteban; León-Oleda, Martha; Nieto-Lima, Betzabé

    2010-01-01

    "In the present study we evaluated the effect of partial ventricular amputation (PVA) in the heart of the adult urodele amphibian (Ambystoma mexicanum) in vivo on spontaneous heart contractile activity recorded in vitro in association to the structural recovery at one, five, 30 and 90 days after injury. One day after PVA, ventricular-tension (VT) (16 ± 3%), atrium-tension (AT) (46 ± 4%) and heart rate (HR) (58+10%) resulted lower in comparison to control hearts. On days five, 30 and 90 after damage, values achieved a 61 ± 5, 93 ± 3, and 98 ± 5% (VT), 60 ± 4, 96 ± 3 and 99 ± 5% (AT) and 74 ± 5, 84 ± 10 and 95 ± 10% (HR) of the control values, respectively. Associated to contractile activity recovery we corroborated a gradual tissue restoration by cardiomyocyte proliferation. Our results represent the first quantitative evidence about the recovery of heart of A. mexicanum restores its functional capacity concomitantly to the structural recovery of the myocardium by proliferation of cardiomyocytes after PVA. These properties make the heart of A. mexicanum a potential model to study the mechanisms underlying heart regeneration in adult vertebrates in vivo.

  3. Characterization of glycosaminoglycans during tooth development and mineralization in the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wistuba, J; Völker, W; Ehmcke, J; Clemen, G

    2003-10-01

    Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) involved in the formation of the teeth of Ambystoma mexicanum were located and characterized with the cuprolinic blue (CB) staining method and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Glycosaminoglycan-cuprolinic blue precipitates (GAGCB) were found in different compartments of the mineralizing tissue. Various populations of elongated GAGCB could be discriminated both according to their size and their preferential distribution in the extracellular matrix (ECM). GAGCB populations that differ in their composition could be attributed not only to the compartments of the ECM but also to different zones and to different tooth types (early-larval and transformed). Larger precipitates were only observed within the dentine matrix of the shaft of the early-larval tooth. The composition of the populations differed significantly between the regions of the transformed tooth: pedicel, shaft and dividing zone. In later stages of tooth formation, small-sized GAGCBs were seen as intracellular deposits in the ameloblasts. It is concluded that the composition of GAGCB populations seems to play a role in the mineralization processes during tooth development in A. mexicanum and influence qualitative characteristics of the mineral in different tooth types and zones, and it is suggested that GAGs might be resorbed by the enamel epithelium during the late phase of enamel formation.

  4. Identification of reference genes and validation for gene expression studies in diverse axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guelke, Eileen; Bucan, Vesna; Liebsch, Christina; Lazaridis, Andrea; Radtke, Christine; Vogt, Peter M; Reimers, Kerstin

    2015-04-10

    For the precise quantitative RT-PCR normalization a set of valid reference genes is obligatory. Moreover have to be taken into concern the experimental conditions as they bias the regulation of reference genes. Up till now, no reference targets have been described for the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). In a search in the public database SalSite for genetic information of the axolotl we identified fourteen presumptive reference genes, eleven of which were further tested for their gene expression stability. This study characterizes the expressional patterns of 11 putative endogenous control genes during axolotl limb regeneration and in an axolotl tissue panel. All 11 reference genes showed variable expression. Strikingly, ACTB was to be found most stable expressed in all comparative tissue groups, so we reason it to be suitable for all different kinds of axolotl tissue-type investigations. Moreover do we suggest GAPDH and RPLP0 as suitable for certain axolotl tissue analysis. When it comes to axolotl limb regeneration, a validated pair of reference genes is ODC and RPLP0. With these findings, new insights into axolotl gene expression profiling might be gained. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Linking vertebral number to performance of aquatic escape responses in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerly, Kerri L; Ward, Andrea B

    2015-12-01

    Environmental conditions during early development in ectothermic vertebrates can lead to variation in vertebral number among individuals of the same species. It is often seen that individuals of a species raised at cooler temperatures have more vertebrae than individuals raised at warmer temperatures, although the functional consequences of this variation in vertebral number on swimming performance are relatively unclear. To investigate this relationship, we tested how vertebral number in axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) affected performance of aquatic escape responses (C-starts). Axolotls were reared at four temperatures (12-24°C) encompassing their natural thermal range and then transitioned to a mean temperature (18°C) three months before C-starts were recorded. Our results showed variation in vertebral number, but that variation was not significantly affected by developmental temperature. C-start performance among axolotls was significantly correlated with caudal vertebral number, and individuals with more caudal vertebrae were able to achieve greater curvature more quickly during their responses than individuals with fewer vertebrae. However, our results show that these individuals did not achieve greater displacements or velocities, and that developmental temperature did not have any effect on C-start performance. We highlight that the most important aspects of escape swim performance (i.e., how far individuals get from a threat and how quickly they move the most important parts of the body away from that threat) are consistent across individuals regardless of developmental temperature and morphological variation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  6. Forever young: Endocrinology of paedomorphosis in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Groef, Bert; Grommen, Sylvia V H; Darras, Veerle M

    2018-05-16

    The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is a salamander species that does not undergo metamorphosis, resulting in the retention of juvenile characteristics in the mature breeding stage (paedomorphosis). Here we review the endocrinological studies investigating the proximate cause of axolotl paedomorphosis with a focus on the hypothalamo-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. It is well established that axolotl paedomorphosis is a consequence of low activity of the HPT axis. The pituitary hormone thyrotropin (TSH) is capable of inducing metamorphosis in the axolotl, which indicates that all processes and interactions in the HPT axis below the pituitary level are functional, but that TSH release is impaired. In metamorphosing species, TSH secretion is largely controlled by the hypothalamic neuropeptide corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which seems to have lost its thyrotropic activity in the axolotl. However, preliminary experiments have not yet confirmed a role for faulty CRH signalling in axolotl paedomorphosis. Other hypothalamic factors and potential pituitary inhibitors need to be investigated to identify their roles in amphibian metamorphosis and axolotl paedomorphosis. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Proteinaceous Pheromone Homologs Identified from the Cloacal Gland Transcriptome of a Male Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Kevin W; Eisthen, Heather L; Williams, Barry L

    2016-01-01

    Pheromones play an important role in modifying vertebrate behavior, especially during courtship and mating. Courtship behavior in urodele amphibians often includes female exposure to secretions from the cloacal gland, as well as other scent glands. The first vertebrate proteinaceous pheromone discovered, the decapeptide sodefrin, is a female attracting pheromone secreted by the cloacal gland of male Cynops pyrrhogaster. Other proteinaceous pheromones in salamanders have been shown to elicit responses from females towards conspecific males. The presence and levels of expression of proteinaceous pheromones have not been identified in the family Ambystomatidae, which includes several important research models. The objective of this research was therefore to identify putative proteinaceous pheromones from male axolotls, Ambystoma mexicanum, as well as their relative expression levels. The results indicate that axolotls possess two different forms of sodefrin precursor-like factor (alpha and beta), as well as a putative ortholog of plethodontid modulating factor. The beta form of sodefrin precursor-like factor was amongst the most highly expressed transcripts within the cloacal gland. The ortholog of plethodontid modulating factor was expressed at a level equivalent to the beta sodefrin precursor-like factor. The results are from a single male axolotl; therefore, we are unable to assess how representative our results may be. Nevertheless, the presence of these highly expressed proteinaceous pheromones suggests that male axolotls use multiple chemical cues to attract female conspecifics. Behavioral assays would indicate whether the putative protein pheromones elicit courtship activity from female axolotls.

  8. The testicular sperm ducts and genital kidney of male Ambystoma maculatum (Amphibia, Urodela, Ambystomatidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, Dustin S; Aldridge, Robert D; Rheubert, Justin L; Gribbins, Kevin M; Sever, David M; Trauth, Stanley E

    2013-03-01

    The ducts associated with sperm transport from the testicular lobules to the Wolffian ducts in Ambystoma maculatum were examined with transmission electron microscopy. Based on the ultrastructure and historical precedence, new terminology for this network of ducts is proposed that better represents primary hypotheses of homology. Furthermore, the terminology proposed better characterizes the distinct regions of the sperm transport ducts in salamanders based on anatomy and should, therefore, lead to more accurate comparisons in the future. While developing the above ontology, we also tested the hypothesis that nephrons from the genital kidney are modified from those of the pelvic kidney due to the fact that the former nephrons function in sperm transport. Our ultrastructural analysis of the genital kidney supports this hypothesis, as the basal plasma membrane of distinct functional regions of the nephron (proximal convoluted tubule, distal convoluted tubule, and collecting tubule) appear less folded (indicating decreased surface area and reduced reabsorption efficiency) and the proximal convoluted tubule possesses ciliated epithelial cells along its entire length. Furthermore, visible luminal filtrate is absent from the nephrons of the genital kidney throughout their entire length. Thus, it appears that the nephrons of the genital kidney have reduced reabsorptive capacity and ciliated cells of the proximal convoluted tubule may increase the movement of immature sperm through the sperm transport ducts or aid in the mixing of seminal fluids within the ducts. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Fine structure of the epidermal Leydig cells in the axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum in relation to their function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarial, M S

    1989-01-01

    The fine structure of the Leydig cells in the epidermis of the strictly aquatic adult axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum resembles that of similar cells in larval salamanders. The major finding of this study is that the mucous secretion of the Leydig cells is released into the intercellular spaces from which it is discharged through pores onto the surface of the epidermis where it forms a mucous layer to protect the skin. Images Figs. 1-2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 Fig. 10 Figs. 11-13 PMID:2630544

  10. Tiger salamanders' (Ambystoma tigrinum) response learning and usage of visual cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kundey, Shannon M A; Millar, Roberto; McPherson, Justin; Gonzalez, Maya; Fitz, Aleyna; Allen, Chadbourne

    2016-05-01

    We explored tiger salamanders' (Ambystoma tigrinum) learning to execute a response within a maze as proximal visual cue conditions varied. In Experiment 1, salamanders learned to turn consistently in a T-maze for reinforcement before the maze was rotated. All learned the initial task and executed the trained turn during test, suggesting that they learned to demonstrate the reinforced response during training and continued to perform it during test. In a second experiment utilizing a similar procedure, two visual cues were placed consistently at the maze junction. Salamanders were reinforced for turning towards one cue. Cue placement was reversed during test. All learned the initial task, but executed the trained turn rather than turning towards the visual cue during test, evidencing response learning. In Experiment 3, we investigated whether a compound visual cue could control salamanders' behaviour when it was the only cue predictive of reinforcement in a cross-maze by varying start position and cue placement. All learned to turn in the direction indicated by the compound visual cue, indicating that visual cues can come to control their behaviour. Following training, testing revealed that salamanders attended to stimuli foreground over background features. Overall, these results suggest that salamanders learn to execute responses over learning to use visual cues but can use visual cues if required. Our success with this paradigm offers the potential in future studies to explore salamanders' cognition further, as well as to shed light on how features of the tiger salamanders' life history (e.g. hibernation and metamorphosis) impact cognition.

  11. Neural crest does not contribute to the neck and shoulder in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epperlein, Hans-Henning; Khattak, Shahryar; Knapp, Dunja; Tanaka, Elly M; Malashichev, Yegor B

    2012-01-01

    A major step during the evolution of tetrapods was their transition from water to land. This process involved the reduction or complete loss of the dermal bones that made up connections to the skull and a concomitant enlargement of the endochondral shoulder girdle. In the mouse the latter is derived from three separate embryonic sources: lateral plate mesoderm, somites, and neural crest. The neural crest was suggested to sustain the muscle attachments. How this complex composition of the endochondral shoulder girdle arose during evolution and whether it is shared by all tetrapods is unknown. Salamanders that lack dermal bone within their shoulder girdle were of special interest for a possible contribution of the neural crest to the endochondral elements and muscle attachment sites, and we therefore studied them in this context. We grafted neural crest from GFP+ fluorescent transgenic axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) donor embryos into white (d/d) axolotl hosts and followed the presence of neural crest cells within the cartilage of the shoulder girdle and the connective tissue of muscle attachment sites of the neck-shoulder region. Strikingly, neural crest cells did not contribute to any part of the endochondral shoulder girdle or to the connective tissue at muscle attachment sites in axolotl. Our results in axolotl suggest that neural crest does not serve a general function in vertebrate shoulder muscle attachment sites as predicted by the "muscle scaffold theory," and that it is not necessary to maintain connectivity of the endochondral shoulder girdle to the skull. Our data support the possibility that the contribution of the neural crest to the endochondral shoulder girdle, which is observed in the mouse, arose de novo in mammals as a developmental basis for their skeletal synapomorphies. This further supports the hypothesis of an increased neural crest diversification during vertebrate evolution.

  12. Neural crest does not contribute to the neck and shoulder in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum.

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    Hans-Henning Epperlein

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A major step during the evolution of tetrapods was their transition from water to land. This process involved the reduction or complete loss of the dermal bones that made up connections to the skull and a concomitant enlargement of the endochondral shoulder girdle. In the mouse the latter is derived from three separate embryonic sources: lateral plate mesoderm, somites, and neural crest. The neural crest was suggested to sustain the muscle attachments. How this complex composition of the endochondral shoulder girdle arose during evolution and whether it is shared by all tetrapods is unknown. Salamanders that lack dermal bone within their shoulder girdle were of special interest for a possible contribution of the neural crest to the endochondral elements and muscle attachment sites, and we therefore studied them in this context. RESULTS: We grafted neural crest from GFP+ fluorescent transgenic axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum donor embryos into white (d/d axolotl hosts and followed the presence of neural crest cells within the cartilage of the shoulder girdle and the connective tissue of muscle attachment sites of the neck-shoulder region. Strikingly, neural crest cells did not contribute to any part of the endochondral shoulder girdle or to the connective tissue at muscle attachment sites in axolotl. CONCLUSIONS: Our results in axolotl suggest that neural crest does not serve a general function in vertebrate shoulder muscle attachment sites as predicted by the "muscle scaffold theory," and that it is not necessary to maintain connectivity of the endochondral shoulder girdle to the skull. Our data support the possibility that the contribution of the neural crest to the endochondral shoulder girdle, which is observed in the mouse, arose de novo in mammals as a developmental basis for their skeletal synapomorphies. This further supports the hypothesis of an increased neural crest diversification during vertebrate evolution.

  13. Ambiguities in the relationship between gonadal steroids and reproduction in axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisthen, Heather L; Krause, Brianne Chung

    2012-05-01

    Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) are aquatic salamanders that are widely used in research. Axolotls have been bred in laboratories for nearly 150 years, yet little is known about the basic biology of reproduction in these animals. We investigated the effects of changing day length, time of year, and food availability on levels of circulating estradiol and androgens in adult female and male axolotls, respectively. In addition, we examined the effects of these variables on the mass of ovaries, oviducts, and eggs in females and on mass of testes in males relative to each individual's body weight, to calculate a form of gonadosomatic index (GSI). In both sexes, GSI was not correlated with levels of circulating steroids. In female axolotls, estradiol levels were influenced by food availability, changes in day length, and season, even when animals were held at a constant temperature and day length was decorrelated with calendar date. In addition, the mass of ovaries, oviducts, and eggs varied seasonally, peaking in the winter months and declining during the summer months, even though our animals were not breeding and shedding eggs. In males, levels of androgens appeared to vary independently of external conditions, but GSI varied dramatically with changes in day length. These results suggest that reproduction in axolotls may vary seasonally, as it does in many other ambystomid species, although both male and female axolotls are capable of reproducing several times each year. The physiological basis of this ability remains enigmatic, given the indications of seasonality contained in our data. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Collection of gametes from live axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, and standardization of in vitro fertilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansour, N; Lahnsteiner, F; Patzner, R A

    2011-01-15

    This study established the first protocol for collection of gametes from live axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, by gentle abdominal massage and in vitro fertilization. To stimulate spermiation and ovulation, human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) and Ovopel pellets, which are commercially used to stimulate spawning in fish, were tested. The hCG was more effective than Ovopel pellets and yielded a higher semen volume in the injected males and a shorter response time in the females. Collected semen by this method was already motile and fertile. Fertile eggs could be collected in 3-4 successive collection times after the female has started the typical spawning behaviour. The fertilization condition that yielded the highest hatching rate was mixing semen with eggs before the addition of a fertilization saline solution (20 mmol/l NaCl, 1 mmol/l KCl, 1 mmol/l Mg(2)SO(4), 1 mmol Ca(2)Cl, 3 mmol NaHCO(3), 10 mmol/l Tris, pH 8.5 - Osmolality = 65 mosmol/kg). When the pH of the fertilization solution was increased to ≥ 10, the hatching rate was significantly increased. The use of fertilization solutions with osmolalities of ≥ 150 and ≥ 182 were accompanied with a significant decrease in hatching rates and the appearance of deformed larvae, respectively. In conclusion, a reliable protocol for gamete collection from live axolotl is established as a laboratory model of in vitro fertilization for urodele amphibians. This protocol may be transferable to endangered urodeles. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Excretory nitrogen metabolism in the juvenile axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum: differences in aquatic and terrestrial environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loong, Ai M; Chew, Shit F; Ip, Yuen K

    2002-01-01

    The fully grown but nonmetamorphosed (juvenile) axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum was ureogenic and primarily ureotelic in water. A complete ornithine-urea cycle (OUC) was present in the liver. Aerial exposure impeded urea (but not ammonia) excretion, leading to a decrease in the percentage of nitrogen excreted as urea in the first 24 h. However, urea and not ammonia accumulated in the muscle, liver, and plasma during aerial exposure. By 48 h, the rate of urea excretion recovered fully, probably due to the greater urea concentration gradient in the kidney. It is generally accepted that an increase in carbamoyl phosphate synthetase activity is especially critical in the developmental transition from ammonotelism to ureotelism in the amphibian. Results from this study indicate that such a transition in A. mexicanum would have occurred before migration to land. Aerial exposure for 72 h exhibited no significant effect on carbamoyl phosphate synthetase-I activity or that of other OUC enzymes (with the exception of ornithine transcarbamoylase) from the liver of the juvenile A. mexicanum. This supports our hypothesis that the capacities of OUC enzymes present in the liver of the aquatic juvenile axolotl were adequate to prepare it for its invasion of the terrestrial environment. The high OUC capacity was further supported by the capability of the juvenile A. mexicanum to survive in 10 mM NH(4)Cl without accumulating amino acids in its body. The majority of the accumulating endogenous and exogenous ammonia was detoxified to urea, which led to a greater than twofold increase in urea levels in the muscle, liver, and plasma and a significant increase in urea excretion by hour 96. Hence, it can be concluded that the juvenile axolotl acquired ureotelism while submerged in water, and its hepatic capacity of urea synthesis was more than adequate to handle the toxicity of endogenous ammonia during migration to land.

  16. Mechanics of lung ventilation in a post-metamorphic salamander, Ambystoma Tigrinum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simons, R S; Bennett, W O; Brainerd, E L

    2000-03-01

    The mechanics of lung ventilation in frogs and aquatic salamanders has been well characterized, whereas lung ventilation in terrestrial-phase (post-metamorphic) salamanders has received little attention. We used electromyography (EMG), X-ray videography, standard videography and buccal and body cavity pressure measurements to characterize the ventilation mechanics of adult (post-metamorphic) tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum). Three results emerged: (i) under terrestrial conditions or when floating at the surface of the water, adult A. tigrinum breathed through their nares using a two-stroke buccal pump; (ii) in addition to this narial two-stroke pump, adult tiger salamanders also gulped air in through their mouths using a modified two-stroke buccal pump when in an aquatic environment; and (iii) exhalation in adult tiger salamanders is active during aquatic gulping breaths, whereas exhalation appears to be passive during terrestrial breathing at rest. Active exhalation in aquatic breaths is indicated by an increase in body cavity pressure during exhalation and associated EMG activity in the lateral hypaxial musculature, particularly the M. transversus abdominis. In terrestrial breathing, no EMG activity in the lateral hypaxial muscles is generally present, and body cavity pressure decreases during exhalation. In aquatic breaths, tidal volume is larger than in terrestrial breaths, and breathing frequency is much lower (approximately 1 breath 10 min(-)(1 )versus 4-6 breaths min(-)(1)). The use of hypaxial muscles to power active exhalation in the aquatic environment may result from the need for more complete exhalation and larger tidal volumes when breathing infrequently. This hypothesis is supported by previous findings that terrestrial frogs ventilate their lungs with small tidal volumes and exhale passively, whereas aquatic frogs and salamanders use large tidal volumes and and exhale actively.

  17. Microarray analysis identifies keratin loci as sensitive biomarkers for thyroid hormone disruption in the salamander Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, Robert B; Monaghan, James R; Samuels, Amy K; Smith, Jeramiah J; Beachy, Christopher K; Voss, S Randal

    2007-02-01

    Ambystomatid salamanders offer several advantages for endocrine disruption research, including genomic and bioinformatics resources, an accessible laboratory model (Ambystoma mexicanum), and natural lineages that are broadly distributed among North American habitats. We used microarray analysis to measure the relative abundance of transcripts isolated from A. mexicanum epidermis (skin) after exogenous application of thyroid hormone (TH). Only one gene had a >2-fold change in transcript abundance after 2 days of TH treatment. However, hundreds of genes showed significantly different transcript levels at days 12 and 28 in comparison to day 0. A list of 123 TH-responsive genes was identified using statistical, BLAST, and fold level criteria. Cluster analysis identified two groups of genes with similar transcription patterns: up-regulated versus down-regulated. Most notably, several keratins exhibited dramatic (1000 fold) increases or decreases in transcript abundance. Keratin gene expression changes coincided with morphological remodeling of epithelial tissues. This suggests that keratin loci can be developed as sensitive biomarkers to assay temporal disruptions of larval-to-adult gene expression programs. Our study has identified the first collection of loci that are regulated during TH-induced metamorphosis in a salamander, thus setting the stage for future investigations of TH disruption in the Mexican axolotl and other salamanders of the genus Ambystoma.

  18. Tooth development in Ambystoma mexicanum: phosphatase activities, calcium accumulation and cell proliferation in the tooth-forming tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wistuba, Joachim; Ehmcke, Jens; Clemen, Günter

    2003-06-01

    Prerequisites of tooth formation, cell proliferation in the tooth-forming tissues, calcium accumulation and the enzymatic activities of alkaline (ALP) and acid phosphatases (ACP) were investigated by immunohistochemical and histochemical methods in various developmental stages of the Mexican Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum. During the growth of replacement teeth, the tooth-forming tissues continually recruit cells from the surrounding regions. The basal layer of the oral epithelium, the dental lamina and sometimes even the outer enamel epithelium provide cells for the differentiated inner enamel epithelium, in which the active ameloblasts are localized. The differentiating odontoblasts are derived from proliferating cells situated basally to the replacement teeth in the mesenchymal tissue. When differentiation has started and the cells have become functional, proliferative activity can no longer be observed. Calcium is accumulated close to the site of mineralization in the inner enamel epithelium and in the odontoblasts as it is in mammals, elasmobranchii and teleostei. The activities of ACP and ALP related to the mineralization of the replacement teeth are separated spatially and not sequentially as they are in mammals. However, the results indicate a similar function of these enzymatic components in relation to tooth formation and maturation of mineral deposition. Most of the substantial processes related to tooth formation reported from other vertebrates occur in a manner similar to that in Ambystoma mexicanum, but there also seem to be basic mechanisms present that are realised in a unique way in this urodele.

  19. Diet of larval Ambystoma rivulare (Caudata: Ambystomatidae, a threatened salamander from the Volcán Nevado de Toluca, Mexico

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    Julio A. Lemos-Espinal

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Several species of salamander in the genus Ambystoma occur in the mountains surrounding Mexico City and are considered at risk of extinction. However, little is known about their ecology and natural history. The Toluca Stream Siredon (Ambystoma rivulare is classified as “Data Deficient” by the IUCN, and considered “Threatened” under Mexican law. From October 2013 to September 2014, we examined the diet of larval A. rivulare from a stream on the Volcán Nevado de Toluca in Mexico to provide insight into the suitability of the habitat to support this population of salamanders. Ostracods accounted for approximately 90% of all prey items consumed by larval A. rivulare. The number of ostracods found in stomachs increased with individual body size, but the proportion of ostracods in stomachs did not vary with body size. Nematodes were observed in approximately one third of the stomachs we examined. The diversity of prey in the diet of A. rivulare in the stream we studied is low and dominated by a single prey taxon, ostracods. Our results suggest that if environmental conditions in the stream change such that ostracods are negatively affected then the long-term persistence of this population of A. rivulare might be in jeopardy.

  20. Esterases activity in the axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum exposed to chlorpyrifos and its implication to motor activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robles-Mendoza, Cecilia; Zúñiga-Lagunes, Sebastian R; Ponce de León-Hill, Claudia A; Hernández-Soto, Jesús; Vanegas-Pérez, Cecilia

    2011-10-01

    The axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum is a neotenic salamander considered a good biological model due to its ability to regenerate limbs, tail, brain and heart cells. Nevertheless, severe reduction of A. mexicanum wild populations in the lacustrine area of Xochimilco, the natural habitat of the axolotl, could be related to several environmental pressures as the presence of organophosphate pesticides (OPPs), intensively applied in agricultural activities in Xochimilco. Thus the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of environmentally realistic chlorpyrifos (CPF) concentrations, a OPP commonly used in this zone, on esterases activity (acetylcholinesterase and carboxylesterase) and bioconcentration of CPF and to relate them with the motor activity of A. mexicanum juveniles. Axolotls were exposed 48 h to 0.05 and 0.1mg CPF/L, and the responses were evaluated at the end of the CPF exposure. Results suggest that CPF is bioconcentrated into axolotls and that the CPF internal concentrations are related with the observed inhibition activity of AChE (>50%) and CbE (≈ 50%). CPF concentration responsible of the inhibition of the 50% of AChE activity (IC50) was estimated in 0.04 mg CPF/L; however IC50 for CbE activity was not possible to calculate since inhibition levels were lower than 50%, results that suggest a higher resistance of CbE enzymatic activity to CPF. However, motor activity was a more sensitive endpoint to CPF poisoning since time that axolotls spent active and walking, frequency and speed of swimming, frequency of prey attack were reduced >90% of control groups. The motor activity alterations in the axolotl could be related with the registered esterases inhibition. Thus important alterations on axolotls were identified even at short time and low concentrations of CPF exposure. Also, it was possible to link biochemical responses as esterases activity with higher levels of biological organization as behavior. This study provides tools for the regulation of the

  1. The pelvic kidney of male Ambystoma maculatum (Amphibia, urodela, ambystomatidae) with special reference to the sexual collecting ducts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, Dustin S; Sever, David M; Aldridge, Robert D

    2010-12-01

    This study details the gross and microscopic anatomy of the pelvic kidney in male Ambystoma maculatum. The nephron of male Ambystoma maculatum is divided into six distinct regions leading sequentially away from a renal corpuscle: (1) neck segment, which communicates with the coelomic cavity via a ventrally positioned pleuroperitoneal funnel, (2) proximal tubule, (3) intermediate segment, (4) distal tubule, (5) collecting tubule, and (6) collecting duct. The proximal tubule is divided into a vacuolated proximal region and a distal lysosomic region. The basal plasma membrane is modified into intertwining microvillus lamellae. The epithelium of the distal tubule varies little along its length and is demarcated by columns of mitochondria with their long axes oriented perpendicular to the basal lamina. The distal tubule possesses highly interdigitating microvillus lamellae from the lateral membranes and pronounced foot processes of the basal membrane that are not intertwined, but perpendicular to the basal lamina. The collecting tubule is lined by an epithelium with dark and light cells. Light cells are similar to those observed in the distal tuble except with less mitochondria and microvillus lamellae of the lateral and basal plasma membrane. Dark cells possess dark euchromatic nuclei and are filled with numerous small mitochondria. The epithelium of the neck segment, pleuroperitoneal funnel, and intermediate segment is composed entirely of ciliated cells with cilia protruding from only the central portion of the apical plasma membrane. The collecting duct is lined by a highly secretory epithelium that produces numerous membrane bound granules that stain positively for neutral carbohydrates and proteins. Apically positioned ciliated cells are intercalated between secretory cells. The collecting ducts anastomose caudally and unite with the Wolffian duct via a common collecting duct. The Wolffian duct is secretory, but not to the extent of the collecting duct

  2. Ultrastructure of the renal juxtaglomerular complex and peripolar cells in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) and toad (Bufo marinus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanner, R H; Ryan, G B

    1980-01-01

    Renal juxtaglomerular regions were examined in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum and toad (Bufo marinus). Prominent granulated peripolar epithelial cells were found surrounding the origin of the glomerular tuft in the axolotl. These cells resembled the peripolar cells recently discovered in mammalian species. They contained multiple electron-dense cytoplasmic granules, some of which showed a paracrystalline substructure and signs of exocytoxic activity. Such cells were difficult to find and smaller in the toad. In contrast, granulated juxtaglomerular arteriolar myoephithelial cells were much more readily found and larger in the toad than in the axolotl. No consistent differences were noted in juxtaglomerular cells or their granules in response to changes in environmental chloride concentration. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 PMID:7410189

  3. Leucine-enkephalin-like immunoreactivity is localized in luteinizing hormone-producing cells in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) pituitary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Hirohumi; Yamamoto, Toshiharu

    2014-02-01

    In this study, we used immunohistochemical techniques to determine the cell type of leucine-enkephalin (Leu-ENK)-immunoreactive cells in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) pituitary. Immunoreactive cells were scattered throughout the pars distalis except for the dorso-caudal portion. These cells were immuno-positive for luteinizing hormone (LH), but they were immuno-negative for adrenocorticotrophic, growth, and thyroid-stimulating hormones, as well as prolactin. Immunoelectron microscopy demonstrated that Leu-ENK-like substance and LH co-localized within the same secretory granules. Leu-ENK secreted from gonadotrophs may participate in LH secretion in an autocrine fashion, and/or may participate in the release of sex steroids together with LH. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Induction of Metamorphosis Causes Differences in Sex-Specific Allocation Patterns in Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) that Have Different Growth Histories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarkson, Pamela M; Beachy, Christopher K

    2015-12-01

    We tested the hypothesis that salamanders growing at different rates would have allocation patterns that differ among male and female metamorphic and larval salamanders. We raised individual axolotls, Ambystoma mexicanum , on four food regimes: constant high growth (throughout the experiment), constant low growth (restricted throughout the experiment), high growth switched to low growth (ad libitum switched after 140 d to restricted), and low growth switched to high growth (restricted switched after 140 d to ad libitum). Because axolotls are obligate paedomorphs, we exposed half of the salamanders to thyroid hormone to induce metamorphosis. We assayed growth and dissected and weighed gonads and fat bodies. Salamanders that were switched from restricted to ad libitum food regime delayed metamorphosis. In all treatment groups, females had larger gonads than males and males had larger fat bodies than females. The association between storage and reproduction differed between larvae and metamorphs and depended on sex.

  5. Limb regeneration from X-irradiated tails of Ambystoma mexicanum following transplantation of flank skin from region adjacent to hindlimb

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hofmann, D.K.; Kleinebeckel, D.; Luther, W.

    1978-01-01

    In the experiments performed by W. Luther on young Ambystoma mexicanum, tails of host animals were irradiated with 2000 r. Afterwards a skin cuff was removed from the mid-tail region. From non-irradiated donor animals, square pieces of skin dorsally adjacent to both hindlimbs were grafted (either 90 0 -rotated or unrotated) to both sides of the denuded area of the irradiated host tail. After 3 weeks the tails were amputated across the skin transplants, and the structures which had regenerated from the distal portions of the tails were fixed 6-16 weeks later. Morhological and histological investigation revealed that 4 out of 12 regenerates from rotated grafts showed clear limb characteristics. (orig./AJ) [de

  6. Effects of atrazine on egg masses of the yellow-spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) and its endosymbiotic alga (Oophila amblystomatis)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baxter, Leilan; Brain, Richard A.; Hosmer, Alan J.; Nema, Mohini; Müller, Kirsten M.; Solomon, Keith R.; Hanson, Mark L.

    2015-01-01

    Embryonic growth of the yellow-spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) is enhanced by the presence of the green alga Oophila amblystomatis, in the egg capsule. To further assess potential impacts of herbicides on this relationship, A. maculatum egg masses were exposed to atrazine (0–338 μg/L) until hatching (up to 66 days). Exposure to atrazine reduced PSII yield of the symbiotic algae in a concentration-dependent manner, but did not significantly affect visible algal growth or any metrics associated with salamander development. Algal cells were also cultured in the laboratory for toxicity testing. In the 96-h growth inhibition test (0–680 μg/L), ECx values were generally greater than those reported for standard algal test species. Complete recovery of growth rates occurred within 96-h of transferring cells to untreated media. Overall, development of A. maculatum embryos was not affected by exposure to atrazine at concentrations and durations exceeding those found in the environment. - Highlights: • The yellow-spotted salamander produces eggs that are colonized by a symbiotic green alga. • We tested the sensitivity of this system to the herbicide atrazine. • Embryo development was not significantly affected by exposure at up to 300 μg/L. • The alga was isolated and 96-h growth tests were performed in the laboratory. • EC50s for Oophila sp. were >100 μg/L. - Development of Ambystoma maculatum embryos in egg masses was not impacted by exposure to atrazine at concentrations and durations exceeding those commonly found in the environment.

  7. The effects of simulated solar UVB radiation on early developmental stages of the Northwestern Salamander (Ambystoma gracile) from three lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calfee, Robin D.; Little, Edward E.; Pearl, Christopher A.; Hoffman, Robert L.

    2010-01-01

    Solar ultraviolet radiation (UV) has received much attention as a factor that could play a role in amphibian population declines. UV can be hazardous to some amphibians, but the resultant effects depend on a variety of environmental and behavioral factors. In this study, the potential effects of UV on the Northwestern Salamander, Ambystoma gracile, from three lakes were assessed in the laboratory using a solar simulator. We measured the survival of embryos and the survival and growth of larvae exposed to four UV treatments in controlled laboratory studies, the UV absorbance of egg jelly, oviposition depths in the lakes, and UV absorbance in water samples from the three lakes. Hatching success of embryos decreased in the higher UV treatments as compared to the control treatments, and growth of surviving larvae was significantly reduced in the higher UVB irradiance treatments. The egg jelly exhibited a small peak of absorbance within the UVB range (290–320 nm). The magnitude of UV absorbance differed among egg jellies from the three lakes. Oviposition depths at the three sites averaged 1.10 m below the water surface. Approximately 66% of surface UVB radiation was attenuated at 10-cm depth in all three lakes. Results of this study indicate that larvae may be sensitive to UVB exposure under laboratory conditions; however, in field conditions the depths of egg deposition in the lakes, absorbance of UV radiation by the water column, and the potential for behavioral adjustments may mitigate severe effects of UV radiation.

  8. Liver histological changes and lipid peroxidation in the amphibian Ambystoma mexicanum induced by sediment elutriates from the Lake Xochimilco.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz-Ordoñez, Esperanza; López-López, Eugenia; Sedeño-Díaz, Jacinto Elías; Uría, Esther; Morales, Ignacio Andrés; Pérez, María Estela; Shibayama, Mineko

    2016-08-01

    Lacustrine sediments accumulate pollutants that input from the lake watershed and can be released to the water column by sediment resuspension; thus, pollutants can change their bioavailability and exert adverse effects to aquatic biota. Shallow-urban lakes are particularly susceptible to receive pollutants from urban discharges and sediment resuspension. Lake Xochimilco, in Mexico City, an urban-shallow lake, faces multiple problems: urban sprawl, overexploitation of aquifers, drying of springs, discharge of wastewater from treatment plants, and sediment resuspension. The aquatic biota living in this ecosystem is continuously exposed to the release of pollutants from the sediments. We assessed the risk that pollutants released from sediments from Lake Xochimilco, Touristic (TZ) and Agriculture zone (AZ), can exert on a native amphibian species of the lake (Ambystoma mexicanum) through exposure bioassays to sediment elutriates. We evaluate alterations in the amphibian by three approaches: biochemical (level of lipid peroxidation, LPO), cellular (ultrastructure) and the liver histology of A. mexicanum and we compare them with a batch control. Additionally, we assessed heavy metals (Pb, Cd and Hg) in elutriates. Elutriates from TZ showed the highest concentrations of the metals assessed. Organisms exposed to sediment elutriates from either study sites showed higher LPO values than control organisms (pXochimilco. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  9. Identification of Differentially Expressed Thyroid Hormone Responsive Genes from the Brain of the Mexican Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) ✧

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huggins, P; Johnson, CK; Schoergendorfer, A; Putta, S; Bathke, AC; Stromberg, AJ; Voss, SR

    2011-01-01

    The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) presents an excellent model to investigate mechanisms of brain development that are conserved among vertebrates. In particular, metamorphic changes of the brain can be induced in free-living aquatic juveniles and adults by simply adding thyroid hormone (T4) to rearing water. Whole brains were sampled from juvenile A. mexicanum that were exposed to 0, 8, and 18 days of 50 nM T4, and these were used to isolate RNA and make normalized cDNA libraries for 454 DNA sequencing. A total of 1,875,732 high quality cDNA reads were assembled with existing ESTs to obtain 5,884 new contigs for human RefSeq protein models, and to develop a custom Affymetrix gene expression array (Amby_002) with approximately 20,000 probe sets. The Amby_002 array was used to identify 303 transcripts that differed statistically (p 1.5) as a function of days of T4 treatment. Further statistical analyses showed that Amby_002 performed concordantly in comparison to an existing, small format expression array. This study introduces a new A. mexicanum microarray resource for the community and the first lists of T4-responsive genes from the brain of a salamander amphibian. PMID:21457787

  10. Highly restricted diversity of TCR delta chains of the amphibian Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) in peripheral tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    André, Sébastien; Kerfourn, Fabienne; Affaticati, Pierre; Guerci, Aline; Ravassard, Philippe; Fellah, Julien S

    2007-06-01

    Gammadelta T cells localize at mammalian epithelial surfaces to exert both protective and regulatory roles in response to infections. We have previously characterized the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) T cell receptor delta (TRD) chain. In this study, TRD repertoires in spleen, liver, intestine and skin from larvae, pre-adult and adult axolotls were examined and compared to the thymic TRD repertoire. A TRDV transcript without N/D diversity, TRDV1S1-TRDJ1, dominates the TRD repertoires until sexual maturation. In adult tissues, this canonical transcript is replaced by another dominant TRDV1S1-TRDJ1 transcript. In the thymus, these two transcripts are detected early in development. Our results suggest that gammadelta T cells that express the canonical TRDV1S1-TRDJ1 transcript emerge from the thymus and colonize the peripheral tissues, where they are selectively expanded by recurrent ligands. This particular situation is probably related to the neotenic state and the slow development of the axolotl. In thymectomized axolotls, TRD repertoires appear different from those of normal axolotls, suggesting that extrathymic gammadelta T cell differentiation could occur. Gene expression analysis showed the importance of the gut in T cell development.

  11. Molecular cloning, sequence analysis and homology modeling of the first caudata amphibian antifreeze-like protein in axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Songyan; Gao, Jiuxiang; Lu, Yiling; Cai, Shasha; Qiao, Xue; Wang, Yipeng; Yu, Haining

    2013-08-01

    Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) refer to a class of polypeptides that are produced by certain vertebrates, plants, fungi, and bacteria and which permit their survival in subzero environments. In this study, we report the molecular cloning, sequence analysis and three-dimensional structure of the axolotl antifreeze-like protein (AFLP) by homology modeling of the first caudate amphibian AFLP. We constructed a full-length spleen cDNA library of axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). An EST having highest similarity (∼42%) with freeze-responsive liver protein Li16 from Rana sylvatica was identified, and the full-length cDNA was subsequently obtained by RACE-PCR. The axolotl antifreeze-like protein sequence represents an open reading frame for a putative signal peptide and the mature protein composed of 93 amino acids. The calculated molecular mass and the theoretical isoelectric point (pl) of this mature protein were 10128.6 Da and 8.97, respectively. The molecular characterization of this gene and its deduced protein were further performed by detailed bioinformatics analysis. The three-dimensional structure of current AFLP was predicted by homology modeling, and the conserved residues required for functionality were identified. The homology model constructed could be of use for effective drug design. This is the first report of an antifreeze-like protein identified from a caudate amphibian.

  12. Molecular and immunohistochemical analyses of cardiac troponin T during cardiac development in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, C; Pietras, K M; Sferrazza, G F; Jia, P; Athauda, G; Rueda-de-Leon, E; Rveda-de-Leon, E; Maier, J A; Dube, D K; Lemanski, S L; Lemanski, L F

    2007-01-01

    The Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, is an excellent animal model for studying heart development because it carries a naturally occurring recessive genetic mutation, designated gene c, for cardiac nonfunction. The double recessive mutants (c/c) fail to form organized myofibrils in the cardiac myoblasts resulting in hearts that fail to beat. Tropomyosin expression patterns have been studied in detail and show dramatically decreased expression in the hearts of homozygous mutant embryos. Because of the direct interaction between tropomyosin and troponin T (TnT), and the crucial functions of TnT in the regulation of striated muscle contraction, we have expanded our studies on this animal model to characterize the expression of the TnT gene in cardiac muscle throughout normal axolotl development as well as in mutant axolotls. In addition, we have succeeded in cloning the full-length cardiac troponin T (cTnT) cDNA from axolotl hearts. Confocal microscopy has shown a substantial, but reduced, expression of TnT protein in the mutant hearts when compared to normal during embryonic development. 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  13. Identification of differentially expressed thyroid hormone responsive genes from the brain of the Mexican Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huggins, P; Johnson, C K; Schoergendorfer, A; Putta, S; Bathke, A C; Stromberg, A J; Voss, S R

    2012-01-01

    The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) presents an excellent model to investigate mechanisms of brain development that are conserved among vertebrates. In particular, metamorphic changes of the brain can be induced in free-living aquatic juveniles and adults by simply adding thyroid hormone (T4) to rearing water. Whole brains were sampled from juvenile A. mexicanum that were exposed to 0, 8, and 18 days of 50 nM T4, and these were used to isolate RNA and make normalized cDNA libraries for 454 DNA sequencing. A total of 1,875,732 high quality cDNA reads were assembled with existing ESTs to obtain 5884 new contigs for human RefSeq protein models, and to develop a custom Affymetrix gene expression array (Amby_002) with approximately 20,000 probe sets. The Amby_002 array was used to identify 303 transcripts that differed statistically (p1.5) as a function of days of T4 treatment. Further statistical analyses showed that Amby_002 performed concordantly in comparison to an existing, small format expression array. This study introduces a new A. mexicanum microarray resource for the community and the first lists of T4-responsive genes from the brain of a salamander amphibian. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Low submetamorphic doses of dexamethasone and thyroxine induce complete metamorphosis in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) when injected together.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kühn, Eduard R; De Groef, Bert; Grommen, Sylvia V H; Van der Geyten, Serge; Darras, Veerle M

    2004-06-01

    Entanglement of functions between the adrenal (or interrenal) and thyroid axis has been well described for all vertebrates and can be tracked down up to the level of gene expression. Both thyroid hormones and corticosteroids may induce morphological changes leading to metamorphosis climax in the neotenic Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). In a first series of experiments, metamorphosis was induced with an injection of 25 microg T(4) on three alternate days as judged by a decrease in body weight and tail height together with complete gill resorption. This injection also resulted in elevated plasma concentrations of T(3) and corticosterone. Previous results have indicated that the same dose of dexamethasone (DEX) is ineffective in this regard (Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 127 (2002) 157). In a second series of experiments low doses of T(4) (0.5 microg) or DEX (5 microg) were ineffective to induce morphological changes. However, when these submetamorphic doses were injected together, morphological changes were observed within one week leading to complete metamorphosis. It is concluded that thyroid hormones combined with corticosteroids are essential for metamorphosis in the axolotl and that only high doses of either thyroid hormone or corticosteroid can induce morphological changes when injected separately.

  15. Molecular cloning, sequence analysis and phylogeny of first caudata g-type lysozyme in axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Haining; Gao, Jiuxiang; Lu, Yiling; Guang, Huijuan; Cai, Shasha; Zhang, Songyan; Wang, Yipeng

    2013-11-01

    Lysozymes are key proteins that play important roles in innate immune defense in many animal phyla by breaking down the bacterial cell-walls. In this study, we report the molecular cloning, sequence analysis and phylogeny of the first caudate amphibian g-lysozyme: a full-length spleen cDNA library from axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). A goose-type (g-lysozyme) EST was identified and the full-length cDNA was obtained using RACE-PCR. The axolotl g-lysozyme sequence represents an open reading frame for a putative signal peptide and the mature protein composed of 184 amino acids. The calculated molecular mass and the theoretical isoelectric point (pl) of this mature protein are 21523.0 Da and 4.37, respectively. Expression of g-lysozyme mRNA is predominantly found in skin, with lower levels in spleen, liver, muscle, and lung. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that caudate amphibian g-lysozyme had distinct evolution pattern for being juxtaposed with not only anura amphibian, but also with the fish, bird and mammal. Although the first complete cDNA sequence for caudate amphibian g-lysozyme is reported in the present study, clones encoding axolotl's other functional immune molecules in the full-length cDNA library will have to be further sequenced to gain insight into the fundamental aspects of antibacterial mechanisms in caudate.

  16. Initial characterization of the large genome of the salamander Ambystoma mexicanum using shotgun and laser capture chromosome sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keinath, Melissa C; Timoshevskiy, Vladimir A; Timoshevskaya, Nataliya Y; Tsonis, Panagiotis A; Voss, S Randal; Smith, Jeramiah J

    2015-11-10

    Vertebrates exhibit substantial diversity in genome size, and some of the largest genomes exist in species that uniquely inform diverse areas of basic and biomedical research. For example, the salamander Ambystoma mexicanum (the Mexican axolotl) is a model organism for studies of regeneration, development and genome evolution, yet its genome is ~10× larger than the human genome. As part of a hierarchical approach toward improving genome resources for the species, we generated 600 Gb of shotgun sequence data and developed methods for sequencing individual laser-captured chromosomes. Based on these data, we estimate that the A. mexicanum genome is ~32 Gb. Notably, as much as 19 Gb of the A. mexicanum genome can potentially be considered single copy, which presumably reflects the evolutionary diversification of mobile elements that accumulated during an ancient episode of genome expansion. Chromosome-targeted sequencing permitted the development of assemblies within the constraints of modern computational platforms, allowed us to place 2062 genes on the two smallest A. mexicanum chromosomes and resolves key events in the history of vertebrate genome evolution. Our analyses show that the capture and sequencing of individual chromosomes is likely to provide valuable information for the systematic sequencing, assembly and scaffolding of large genomes.

  17. Muscular derivatives of the cranialmost somites revealed by long-term fate mapping in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piekarski, Nadine; Olsson, Lennart

    2007-01-01

    The fate of single somites has not been analyzed from a comparative perspective with modern cell-marking methods. Most of what we know is based on work using quail-chick chimeras. Consequently, to what degree cell fate has been conserved despite the anatomical differences among vertebrates is unknown. We have analyzed the cell fate of the cranialmost somites, with the focus on somite two, in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). Somite cells were marked by injection of dextran-fluorescein and detected using immunofluorescence after 2 months of development in paraffin sections. Our data confirm and extend earlier studies based on classical histology in salamanders. We show that somite two contributes to different muscles, skeletal elements, and connective tissues of the head and cranial trunk region. Cells from somites two and three migrate latero-ventrally and contribute to the hypobranchial muscles mm. geniohyoideus and rectus cervicis. We provide evidence that the specific formation of the hypobranchial musculature from ventral processes of the somites might be variable in different classes of vertebrates. We further demonstrate that mm. cucullaris and dilatator laryngis, which were earlier thought to have a branchial origin, arise from somitic material in a manner very similar to the findings in quail-chick chimeras. Our findings indicate that the pattern of somitic derivatives is highly conserved within tetrapods.

  18. Glucose transporter distribution in the vessels of the central nervous system of the axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum (Urodela: Ambystomatidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazzari, Maurizio; Bettini, Simone; Ciani, Franco; Franceschini, Valeria

    2008-10-01

    The GLUT-1 isoform of the glucose transporter is commonly considered a reliable molecular marker of blood-brain barrier endothelia in the neural vasculature organized in a three-dimensional network of single vessels. The central nervous system of the axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum is characterized by a vascular architecture that contains both single and paired vessels. The presence and distribution of the GLUT-1 transporter are studied in this urodele using both immunoperoxidase histochemistry and immunogold technique. Light microscopy reveals immunopositivity in both parenchymal and meningeal vessels. The transverse-sectioned pairs of vessels do not show the same size. Furthermore, in the same pair, the two elements often differ in diameter. The main regions of the central nervous system show a different percentage of the paired structures. Only immunogold cytochemistry reveals different staining intensity in the two adjoined elements of a vascular pair. Colloidal gold particles show an asymmetric distribution in the endothelia of both single and paired vessels. These particles are more numerous on the abluminal surface than on the luminal one. The particle density is calculated in both vascular types. The different values could indicate functional differences between single and paired vessels and between the two adjoined elements of a pair, regarding glucose transport.

  19. Crystal structure of axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) liver bile acid-binding protein bound to cholic and oleic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capaldi, Stefano; Guariento, Mara; Perduca, Massimiliano; Di Pietro, Santiago M; Santomé, José A; Monaco, Hugo L

    2006-07-01

    The family of the liver bile acid-binding proteins (L-BABPs), formerly called liver basic fatty acid-binding proteins (Lb-FABPs) shares fold and sequence similarity with the paralogous liver fatty acid-binding proteins (L-FABPs) but has a different stoichiometry and specificity of ligand binding. This article describes the first X-ray structure of a member of the L-BABP family, axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) L-BABP, bound to two different ligands: cholic and oleic acid. The protein binds one molecule of oleic acid in a position that is significantly different from that of either of the two molecules that bind to rat liver FABP. The stoichiometry of binding of cholate is of two ligands per protein molecule, as observed in chicken L-BABP. The cholate molecule that binds buried most deeply into the internal cavity overlaps well with the analogous bound to chicken L-BABP, whereas the second molecule, which interacts with the first only through hydrophobic contacts, is more external and exposed to the solvent. (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  20. The effects of food level and conspecific density on biting and cannibalism in larval long-toed salamanders, Ambystoma macrodactylum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wildy, Erica L; Chivers, Douglas P; Kiesecker, Joseph M; Blaustein, Andrew R

    2001-07-01

    Previous studies have examined abiotic and biotic factors that facilitate agonistic behavior. For larval amphibians, food availability and conspecific density have been suggested as important factors influencing intraspecific aggression and cannibalism. In this study, we examined the separate and combined effects of food availability and density on the agonistic behavior and life history of larval long-toed salamanders, Ambystoma macrodactylum. We designed a 2×2 factorial experiment in which larvae were raised with either a high or low density of conspecifics and fed either a high or low level of food. For each treatment, we quantified the amount of group size variation, biting, and cannibalism occurring. Additionally, we examined survival to, time to and size at metamorphosis for all larvae. Results indicated that differences in both density and food level influenced all three life history traits measured. Moreover, differences in food level at which larvae were reared resulted in higher within-group size variation and heightened intraspecific biting while both density and food level contributed to increased cannibalism. We suggest that increased hunger levels and an uneven size structure promoted biting among larvae in the low food treatments. Moreover, these factors combined with a higher encounter rate with conspecifics in the high density treatments may have prompted larger individuals to seek an alternative food source in the form of smaller conspecifics.

  1. Effects of simulated solar UVB radiation on early developmental stages of the northwestern salamander (Ambystoma gracile) from three lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calfee, R.D.; Little, E.E.; Pearl, C.A.; Hoffman, R.L.

    2010-01-01

    Solar ultraviolet radiation (UV) has received much attention as a factor that could play a role in amphibian population declines. UV can be hazardous to some amphibians, but the resultant effects depend on a variety of environmental and behavioral factors. In this study, the potential effects of UV on the Northwestern Salamander, Ambystoma gracile, from three lakes were assessed in the laboratory using a solar simulator. We measured the survival of embryos and the survival and growth of larvae exposed to four UV treatments in controlled laboratory studies, the UV absorbance of egg jelly, oviposition depths in the lakes, and UV absorbance in water samples from the three lakes. Hatching success of embryos decreased in the higher UV treatments as compared to the control treatments, and growth of surviving larvae was significantly reduced in the higher UVB irradiance treatments. The egg jelly exhibited a small peak of absorbance within the UVB range (290-320 nm). The magnitude of UV absorbance differed among egg jellies from the three lakes. Oviposition depths at the three sites averaged 1.10 m below the water surface. Approximately 66 of surface UVB radiation was attenuated at 10-cm depth in all three lakes. Results of this study indicate that larvae may be sensitive to UVB exposure under laboratory conditions; however, in field conditions the depths of egg deposition in the lakes, absorbance of UV radiation by the water column, and the potential for behavioral adjustments may mitigate severe effects of UV radiation. Copyright 2010 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  2. Role of cranial neural crest cells in visceral arch muscle positioning and morphogenesis in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ericsson, Rolf; Cerny, Robert; Falck, Pierre; Olsson, Lennart

    2004-10-01

    The role of cranial neural crest cells in the formation of visceral arch musculature was investigated in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum. DiI (1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine, perchlorate) labeling and green fluorescent protein (GFP) mRNA injections combined with unilateral transplantations of neural folds showed that neural crest cells contribute to the connective tissues but not the myofibers of developing visceral arch muscles in the mandibular, hyoid, and branchial arches. Extirpations of individual cranial neural crest streams demonstrated that neural crest cells are necessary for correct morphogenesis of visceral arch muscles. These do, however, initially develop in their proper positions also in the absence of cranial neural crest. Visceral arch muscles forming in the absence of neural crest cells start to differentiate at their origins but fail to extend toward their insertions and may have a frayed appearance. Our data indicate that visceral arch muscle positioning is controlled by factors that do not have a neural crest origin. We suggest that the cranial neural crest-derived connective tissues provide directional guidance important for the proper extension of the cranial muscles and the subsequent attachment to the insertion on the correct cartilage. In a comparative context, our data from the Mexican axolotl support the view that the cranial neural crest plays a fundamental role in the development of not only the skeleton of the vertebrate head but also in the morphogenesis of the cranial muscles and that this might be a primitive feature of cranial development in vertebrates. 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  3. Effect of thyroid hormone concentration on the transcriptional response underlying induced metamorphosis in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuels Amy K

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Thyroid hormones (TH induce gene expression programs that orchestrate amphibian metamorphosis. In contrast to anurans, many salamanders do not undergo metamorphosis in nature. However, they can be induced to undergo metamorphosis via exposure to thyroxine (T4. We induced metamorphosis in juvenile Mexican axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum using 5 and 50 nM T4, collected epidermal tissue from the head at four time points (Days 0, 2, 12, 28, and used microarray analysis to quantify mRNA abundances. Results Individuals reared in the higher T4 concentration initiated morphological and transcriptional changes earlier and completed metamorphosis by Day 28. In contrast, initiation of metamorphosis was delayed in the lower T4 concentration and none of the individuals completed metamorphosis by Day 28. We identified 402 genes that were statistically differentially expressed by ≥ two-fold between T4 treatments at one or more non-Day 0 sampling times. To complement this analysis, we used linear and quadratic regression to identify 542 and 709 genes that were differentially expressed by ≥ two-fold in the 5 and 50 nM T4 treatments, respectively. Conclusion We found that T4 concentration affected the timing of gene expression and the shape of temporal gene expression profiles. However, essentially all of the identified genes were similarly affected by 5 and 50 nM T4. We discuss genes and biological processes that appear to be common to salamander and anuran metamorphosis, and also highlight clear transcriptional differences. Our results show that gene expression in axolotls is diverse and precise, and that axolotls provide new insights about amphibian metamorphosis.

  4. Effect of thyroid hormone concentration on the transcriptional response underlying induced metamorphosis in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, Robert B; Voss, Stephen R; Samuels, Amy K; Smith, Jeramiah J; Putta, Srikrishna; Beachy, Christopher K

    2008-02-11

    Thyroid hormones (TH) induce gene expression programs that orchestrate amphibian metamorphosis. In contrast to anurans, many salamanders do not undergo metamorphosis in nature. However, they can be induced to undergo metamorphosis via exposure to thyroxine (T4). We induced metamorphosis in juvenile Mexican axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) using 5 and 50 nM T4, collected epidermal tissue from the head at four time points (Days 0, 2, 12, 28), and used microarray analysis to quantify mRNA abundances. Individuals reared in the higher T4 concentration initiated morphological and transcriptional changes earlier and completed metamorphosis by Day 28. In contrast, initiation of metamorphosis was delayed in the lower T4 concentration and none of the individuals completed metamorphosis by Day 28. We identified 402 genes that were statistically differentially expressed by > or = two-fold between T4 treatments at one or more non-Day 0 sampling times. To complement this analysis, we used linear and quadratic regression to identify 542 and 709 genes that were differentially expressed by > or = two-fold in the 5 and 50 nM T4 treatments, respectively. We found that T4 concentration affected the timing of gene expression and the shape of temporal gene expression profiles. However, essentially all of the identified genes were similarly affected by 5 and 50 nM T4. We discuss genes and biological processes that appear to be common to salamander and anuran metamorphosis, and also highlight clear transcriptional differences. Our results show that gene expression in axolotls is diverse and precise, and that axolotls provide new insights about amphibian metamorphosis.

  5. Terminal-Nerve-Derived Neuropeptide Y Modulates Physiological Responses in the Olfactory Epithelium of Hungry Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mousley, Angela; Polese, Gianluca; Marks, Nikki J.; Eisthen, Heather L.

    2007-01-01

    The vertebrate brain actively regulates incoming sensory information, effectively filtering input and focusing attention toward environmental stimuli that are most relevant to the animal's behavioral context or physiological state. Such centrifugal modulation has been shown to play an important role in processing in the retina and cochlea, but has received relatively little attention in olfaction. The terminal nerve, a cranial nerve that extends underneath the lamina propria surrounding the olfactory epithelium, displays anatomical and neurochemical characteristics that suggest that it modulates activity in the olfactory epithelium. Using immunocytochemical techniques, we demonstrate that neuropeptide Y (NPY) is abundantly present in the terminal nerve in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), an aquatic salamander. Because NPY plays an important role in regulating appetite and hunger in many vertebrates, we investigated the possibility that NPY modulates activity in the olfactory epithelium in relation to the animal's hunger level. We therefore characterized the full length NPY gene from axolotls to enable synthesis of authentic axolotl NPY for use in electrophysiological experiments. We find that axolotl NPY modulates olfactory epithelial responses evoked by L-glutamic acid, a food-related odorant, but only in hungry animals. Similarly, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings demonstrate that bath application of axolotl NPY enhances the magnitude of a tetrodotoxin-sensitive inward current, but only in hungry animals. These results suggest that expression or activity of NPY receptors in the olfactory epithelium may change with hunger level, and that terminal nerve-derived peptides modulate activity in the olfactory epithelium in response to an animal's changing behavioral and physiological circumstances. PMID:16855098

  6. Terminal nerve-derived neuropeptide y modulates physiological responses in the olfactory epithelium of hungry axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mousley, Angela; Polese, Gianluca; Marks, Nikki J; Eisthen, Heather L

    2006-07-19

    The vertebrate brain actively regulates incoming sensory information, effectively filtering input and focusing attention toward environmental stimuli that are most relevant to the animal's behavioral context or physiological state. Such centrifugal modulation has been shown to play an important role in processing in the retina and cochlea, but has received relatively little attention in olfaction. The terminal nerve, a cranial nerve that extends underneath the lamina propria surrounding the olfactory epithelium, displays anatomical and neurochemical characteristics that suggest that it modulates activity in the olfactory epithelium. Using immunocytochemical techniques, we demonstrate that neuropeptide Y (NPY) is abundantly present in the terminal nerve in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), an aquatic salamander. Because NPY plays an important role in regulating appetite and hunger in many vertebrates, we investigated the possibility that NPY modulates activity in the olfactory epithelium in relation to the animal's hunger level. We therefore characterized the full-length NPY gene from axolotls to enable synthesis of authentic axolotl NPY for use in electrophysiological experiments. We find that axolotl NPY modulates olfactory epithelial responses evoked by l-glutamic acid, a food-related odorant, but only in hungry animals. Similarly, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings demonstrate that bath application of axolotl NPY enhances the magnitude of a tetrodotoxin-sensitive inward current, but only in hungry animals. These results suggest that expression or activity of NPY receptors in the olfactory epithelium may change with hunger level, and that terminal nerve-derived peptides modulate activity in the olfactory epithelium in response to an animal's changing behavioral and physiological circumstances.

  7. Morphology and evolutionary implications of the annual cycle of secretion and sperm storage in spermathecae of the salamander Ambystoma opacum (Amphibia: Ambystomatidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sever, David M; Krenz, John D; Johnson, Kristin M; Rania, Lisa C

    1995-01-01

    Females of the marbled salamander, Ambystoma opacum, store sperm in exocrine glands called spermathecae in the roof of the cloaca. Eggs are fertilized by sperm released from the spermathecae during oviposition. Some sperm remain in the spermathecae following oviposition, but these sperm degenerate within a month and none persists more than 6 mo after oviposition. Thus, sperm storage between successive breeding seasons does not occur. Apical secretory vaculoes are abundant during the fall mating season and contain a substance that is alcian blue+ at pH 2.5. Production of secretory vacuoles decreases markedly after oviposition, and the glands are inactive by the summer months. Ambystoma opacum is a terrestrial breeder, and some mating occurs prior to arrival at pond basins where oviposition occurs. Mating prior to arrival at the ovipository site may prolong the breeding season, leading to fitness implications for both males and females. Females have opportunities for more matings, and the possibilities for sperm competition in the spermathecae are enhanced. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Copyright © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  8. Effects of metamorphosis and captivity on the in vitro sensitivity of thyroid glands from the tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum, to bovine thyrotropin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Norman, M.F.; Norris, D.O.

    1987-01-01

    The sensitivity of thyroid glands from the tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum, to bovine thyrotropin (bTSH) was tested in vitro. Thyroids were taken from subjects representing metamorphic stages I (premetamorphic larvae), II (onset of climax), and VII (completion of gill resorption), as well as from captivity control larvae. Exogenous TSH reduced the cumulative uptake of 125 I in vitro by thyroids from stage I larvae after 24 and 48 hr. The capacity of thyroids to release thyroxine (T4) in vitro was used subsequently as a measure of their responsiveness to TSH. Baseline levels of T4 release in vitro were variable but did not differ significantly among developmental stages. A low dose of bTSH (5 X 10(-6) IU/ml) did not increase in vitro T4 release compared with that of controls. A larger dose (5 X 10(-4) IU/ml) caused greater increases in T4 release from thyroids of stage II and VII subjects than from those of controls. This dose produced only a small response by thyroids from captivity-control subjects. The results suggest that the thyroids of Ambystoma increase in their capacity to respond to TSH during the process of metamorphosis

  9. A populational survey of 45S rDNA polymorphism in the Jefferson salamander Ambystoma jeffersonianum revealed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinzhong FU

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available The chromosomal localization of 45S ribosomal RNA genes in Ambystoma jeffersonianum was determined by fluorescence in situ hybridization with 18S rDNA fragment as a probe (FISH-rDNA. Our results revealed the presence of rDNA polymorphism among A.jeffersonianum populations in terms of number, location and FISH signal intensity on the chromosomes. Nine rDNA cytotypes were found in ten geographically isolated populations and most of them contained derivative rDNA sites. Our preliminary study provides strong indication of karyotypic diversification of A.jeffersonianum that is demonstrated by intraspecific variation of 45S rDNA cytotypes. rDNA cytotype polymorphism has been described in many other caudate amphibians. We predict that habitat isolation, low dispersal ability and decline of effective population size could facilitate the fixation and accumulation of variable rDNA cytotypes during their chromosome evolution.

  10. Regeneración miocárdica en Ambystoma mexicanum después de lesión quirúrgica

    OpenAIRE

    Vargas-González, Alvaro; Prado-Zayago, Esteban; León-Olea, Martha; Guarner-Lans, Verónica; Cano-Martínez, Agustina

    2005-01-01

    Se realizó resección ventricular en el corazón de Ambystoma mexicanum, se evaluó si la restitución del tejido resulta de hipertrofia o de hiperplasia. Por medio de una tinción tricrómica se encontró que 5 días después del daño en el espacio de la resección se encontró un coágulo rodeado de fibras de colágena (83 ± 6%), músculo (10 ± 3%) y zonas sin tejido (7 ± 2%). Una proporción de 50 ± 4 y 90 ± 2% correspondió a tejido muscular 10 y 30 días después de la lesión. La tinción con bis-Benzimida...

  11. Comparative pelvic development of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) and the Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri): conservation and innovation across the fish-tetrapod transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boisvert, Catherine Anne; Joss, Jean Mp; Ahlberg, Per E

    2013-01-23

    The fish-tetrapod transition was one of the major events in vertebrate evolution and was enabled by many morphological changes. Although the transformation of paired fish fins into tetrapod limbs has been a major topic of study in recent years, both from paleontological and comparative developmental perspectives, the interest has focused almost exclusively on the distal part of the appendage and in particular the origin of digits. Relatively little attention has been paid to the transformation of the pelvic girdle from a small unipartite structure to a large tripartite weight-bearing structure, allowing tetrapods to rely mostly on their hindlimbs for locomotion. In order to understand how the ischium and the ilium evolved and how the acetabulum was reoriented during this transition, growth series of the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri and the Mexican axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum were cleared and stained for cartilage and bone and immunostained for skeletal muscles. In order to understand the myological developmental data, hypotheses about the homologies of pelvic muscles in adults of Latimeria, Neoceratodus and Necturus were formulated based on descriptions from the literature of the coelacanth (Latimeria), the Australian Lungfish (Neoceratodus) and a salamander (Necturus). In the axolotl and the lungfish, the chondrification of the pelvic girdle starts at the acetabula and progresses anteriorly in the lungfish and anteriorly and posteriorly in the salamander. The ilium develops by extending dorsally to meet and connect to the sacral rib in the axolotl. Homologous muscles develop in the same order with the hypaxial musculature developing first, followed by the deep, then the superficial pelvic musculature. Development of the pelvic endoskeleton and musculature is very similar in Neoceratodus and Ambystoma. If the acetabulum is seen as being a fixed landmark, the evolution of the ischium only required pubic pre-chondrogenic cells to migrate posteriorly. It

  12. Role of habitat complexity in predator-prey dynamics between an introduced fish and larval Long-toed Salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenison, Erin K; Litt, Andrea R.; Pilliod, David S.; McMahon, Tom E

    2016-01-01

    Predation by nonnative fishes has reduced abundance and increased extinction risk for amphibian populations worldwide. Although rare, fish and palatable amphibians have been observed to coexist where aquatic vegetation and structural complexity provide suitable refugia. We examined whether larval long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum Baird, 1849) increased use of vegetation cover in lakes with trout and whether adding vegetation structure could reduce predation risk and nonconsumptive effects (NCEs), such as reductions in body size and delayed metamorphosis. We compared use of vegetation cover by larval salamanders in lakes with and without trout and conducted a field experiment to investigate the influence of added vegetation structure on salamander body morphology and life history. The probability of catching salamanders in traps in lakes with trout was positively correlated with the proportion of submerged vegetation and surface cover. Growth rates of salamanders in enclosures with trout cues decreased as much as 85% and the probability of metamorphosis decreased by 56%. We did not find evidence that adding vegetation reduced NCEs in experimental enclosures, but salamanders in lakes with trout utilized more highly-vegetated areas which suggests that adding vegetation structure at the scale of the whole lake may facilitate coexistence between salamanders and introduced trout.

  13. An Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor from the Salamander Ambystoma mexicanum Exhibits Low Sensitivity to 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoots, Jenny; Fraccalvieri, Domenico; Franks, Diana G; Denison, Michael S; Hahn, Mark E; Bonati, Laura; Powell, Wade H

    2015-06-02

    Structural features of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) can underlie species- and population-specific differences in its affinity for 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). These differences often explain variations in TCDD toxicity. Frogs are relatively insensitive to dioxin, and Xenopus AHRs bind TCDD with low affinity. Weak TCDD binding results from the combination of three residues in the ligand-binding domain: A354 and A370, and N325. Here we sought to determine whether this mechanism of weak TCDD binding is shared by other amphibian AHRs. We isolated an AHR cDNA from the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). The encoded polypeptide contains identical residues at positions that confer low TCDD affinity to X. laevis AHRs (A364, A380, and N335), and homology modeling predicts they protrude into the binding cavity. Axolotl AHR bound one-tenth the TCDD of mouse AHR in velocity sedimentation analysis, and in transactivation assays, the EC50 for TCDD was 23 nM, similar to X. laevis AHR1β (27 nM) and greater than AHR containing the mouse ligand-binding domain (0.08 nM). Sequence, modeled structure, and function indicate that axolotl AHR binds TCDD weakly, predicting that A. mexicanum lacks sensitivity toTCDD toxicity. We hypothesize that this characteristic of axolotl and Xenopus AHRs arose in a common ancestor of the Caudata and Anura.

  14. Cranial muscle development in the model organism ambystoma mexicanum: implications for tetrapod and vertebrate comparative and evolutionary morphology and notes on ontogeny and phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziermann, Janine M; Diogo, Rui

    2013-07-01

    There is still confusion about the homology of several cranial muscles in salamanders with those of other vertebrates. This is true, in part, because of the fact that many muscles present in early ontogeny of amphibians disappear during development and specifically during metamorphosis. Resolving this confusion is important for the understanding of the comparative and evolutionary morphology of vertebrates and tetrapods because amphibians are the phylogenetically most plesiomorphic tetrapods, concerning for example their myology, and include two often used model organisms, Xenopus laevis (anuran) and Ambystoma mexicanum (urodele). Here we provide the first detailed report of the cranial muscle development in axolotl from early ontogenetic stages to the adult stage. We describe different and complementary types of general muscle morphogenetic gradients in the head: from anterior to posterior, from lateral to medial, and from origin to insertion. Furthermore, even during the development of neotenic salamanders such as axolotls, various larval muscles become indistinct, contradicting the commonly accepted view that during ontogeny the tendency is mostly toward the differentiation of muscles. We provide an updated comparison between these muscles and the muscles of other vertebrates, a discussion of the homologies and evolution, and show that the order in which the muscles appear during axolotl ontogeny is in general similar to their appearance in phylogeny (e.g. differentiation of adductor mandibulae muscles from one anlage to four muscles), with only a few remarkable exceptions, as for example the dilatator laryngis that appears evolutionary later but in the development before the intermandibularis. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Axolotl hemoglobin: cDNA-derived amino acid sequences of two alpha globins and a beta globin from an adult Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shishikura, Fumio; Takeuchi, Hiro-aki; Nagai, Takatoshi

    2005-11-01

    Erythrocytes of the adult axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, have multiple hemoglobins. We separated and purified two kinds of hemoglobin, termed major hemoglobin (Hb M) and minor hemoglobin (Hb m), from a five-year-old male by hydrophobic interaction column chromatography on Alkyl Superose. The hemoglobins have two distinct alpha type globin polypeptides (alphaM and alpham) and a common beta globin polypeptide, all of which were purified in FPLC on a reversed-phase column after S-pyridylethylation. The complete amino acid sequences of the three globin chains were determined separately using nucleotide sequencing with the assistance of protein sequencing. The mature globin molecules were composed of 141 amino acid residues for alphaM globin, 143 for alpham globin and 146 for beta globin. Comparing primary structures of the five kinds of axolotl globins, including two previously established alpha type globins from the same species, with other known globins of amphibians and representatives of other vertebrates, we constructed phylogenetic trees for amphibian hemoglobins and tetrapod hemoglobins. The molecular trees indicated that alphaM, alpham, beta and the previously known alpha major globin were adult types of globins and the other known alpha globin was a larval type. The existence of two to four more globins in the axolotl erythrocyte is predicted.

  16. Corticotropin-releasing hormone-mediated metamorphosis in the neotenic axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum: synergistic involvement of thyroxine and corticoids on brain type II deiodinase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kühn, Eduard R; De Groef, Bert; Van der Geyten, Serge; Darras, Veerle M

    2005-08-01

    In the present study, morphological changes leading to complete metamorphosis have been induced in the neotenic axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum using a submetamorphic dose of T(4) together with an injection of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). An injection of CRH alone is ineffective in this regard presumably due to a lack of thyrotropic stimulation. Using this low hormone profile for induction of metamorphosis, the deiodinating enzymes D2 and D3 known to be present in amphibians were measured in liver and brain 24h following an intraperitoneal injection. An injection of T(4) alone did not influence liver nor brain D2 and D3, but dexamethasone (DEX) or CRH alone or in combination with T(4) decreased liver D2 and D3. Brain D2 activity was slightly increased with a higher dose of DEX, though CRH did not have this effect. A profound synergistic effect occurred when T(4) and DEX or CRH were injected together, in the dose range leading to metamorphosis, increasing brain D2 activity more than fivefold. This synergistic effect was not found in the liver. It is concluded that brain T(3) availability may play an important role for the onset of metamorphosis in the neotenic axolotl.

  17. Analysis of the expression and function of Wnt-5a and Wnt-5b in developing and regenerating axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) limbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Sukla; Roy, Stéphane; Séguin, Carl; Bryant, Susan V; Gardiner, David M

    2008-05-01

    Urodele amphibians are unique adult vertebrates because they are able to regenerate body parts after amputation. Studies of urodele limb regeneration, the key model system for vertebrate regeneration, have led to an understanding of the origin of blastema cells and the importance of positional interactions between blastema cells in the control of growth and pattern formation. Progress is now being made in the identification of the signaling pathways that regulate dedifferentiation, blastema morphogenesis, growth and pattern formation. Members of the Wnt family of secreted proteins are expressed in developing and regenerating limbs, and have the potential to control growth, pattern formation and differentiation. We have studied the expression of two non-canonical Wnt genes, Wnt-5a and Wnt-5b. We report that they are expressed in equivalent patterns during limb development and limb regeneration in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), and during limb development in other tetrapods, implying conservation of function. Our analysis of the effects of ectopic Wnt-5a expression is consistent with the hypothesis that canonical Wnt signaling functions during the early stages of regeneration to control the dedifferentiation of stump cells giving rise to the regeneration-competent cells of the blastema.

  18. An Ambystoma mexicanum EST sequencing project: analysis of 17,352 expressed sequence tags from embryonic and regenerating blastema cDNA libraries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habermann, Bianca; Bebin, Anne-Gaelle; Herklotz, Stephan; Volkmer, Michael; Eckelt, Kay; Pehlke, Kerstin; Epperlein, Hans Henning; Schackert, Hans Konrad; Wiebe, Glenis; Tanaka, Elly M

    2004-01-01

    Background The ambystomatid salamander, Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl), is an important model organism in evolutionary and regeneration research but relatively little sequence information has so far been available. This is a major limitation for molecular studies on caudate development, regeneration and evolution. To address this lack of sequence information we have generated an expressed sequence tag (EST) database for A. mexicanum. Results Two cDNA libraries, one made from stage 18-22 embryos and the other from day-6 regenerating tail blastemas, generated 17,352 sequences. From the sequenced ESTs, 6,377 contigs were assembled that probably represent 25% of the expressed genes in this organism. Sequence comparison revealed significant homology to entries in the NCBI non-redundant database. Further examination of this gene set revealed the presence of genes involved in important cell and developmental processes, including cell proliferation, cell differentiation and cell-cell communication. On the basis of these data, we have performed phylogenetic analysis of key cell-cycle regulators. Interestingly, while cell-cycle proteins such as the cyclin B family display expected evolutionary relationships, the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1 gene family shows an unusual evolutionary behavior among the amphibians. Conclusions Our analysis reveals the importance of a comprehensive sequence set from a representative of the Caudata and illustrates that the EST sequence database is a rich source of molecular, developmental and regeneration studies. To aid in data mining, the ESTs have been organized into an easily searchable database that is freely available online. PMID:15345051

  19. Ontogeny of the VIP system in the gastro-intestinal tract of the Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum: successive appearance of co-existing PACAP and NOS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badawy, Gamal; Reinecke, Manfred

    2003-03-01

    Evidence for the presence and potential co-existence of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in gastro-intestinal endocrine cells and/or nerve fibers is conflicting and very few results exist on development. This immunofluorescence study aims to clarify the appearance and localization of VIP, PACAP and NOS in the gastro-intestinal tract of the Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, during ontogeny. VIP-immunoreactivity appeared in nerve fibers as early as on day 3 after hatching likely indicating a particular role, such as a trophic action, of VIP in very early development. PACAP-immunoreactivity was observed 3 days later within the VIP-immunoreactive (-IR) fibers. From this time on, VIP- and PACAP-immunoreactivity exhibited complete co-existence. VIP/PACAP-IR fibers were found throughout the gastro-intestinal tract. They were most prominent in the myenteric plexus and the muscle layers and less frequent in the submucosa. NOS-immunoreactivity appeared as late as at the 1st (64 days) juvenile stage in a subpopulation of the VIP/PACAP-IR fibers that contacted submucosal arteries. We found only very few VIP/PACAP-IR perikarya, indicating that part of the VIP/PACAP-IR fibers is of extrinsic origin. On day 12 and in the 1st and 2nd (104 days) juvenile stage, infrequent PACAP-IR entero-endocrine cells were noted, while neither VIP- nor NOS-immunoreactivity occurred in endocrine cells at any stage of development. The complete coexistence of neuronal PACAP- and VIP-immunoreactivities and their very early appearance in ontogeny may suggest important and coordinated roles of both peptides in the control of Axolotl gastro-intestinal activity, while the VIP/ PACAP/NOS-IR fibers may be involved in the regulation of submucosal blood flow.

  20. Localization of amylin-like immunoreactivity in melanocyte-stimulating hormone-containing cells of the pars intermedia but not those of the pars distalis in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) pituitary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Hirohumi; Yamamoto, Toshiharu

    2016-04-01

    Immunohistochemical techniques were employed to investigate the distribution of amylin-like immunoreactivity in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) pituitary. Amylin-immunoreactive cells were observed in the pars intermedia, and these cells were found to be immunoreactive for α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (αMSH) as well. In contrast, αMSH-immunoreactive cells in the pars distalis were immuno-negaitive for amylin. These light microscopic findings were confirmed by immunoelectron microscopy. Amylin-immunoreactive signals were located on the haloes of presumable secretory granules in association with αMSH-immunoreactive signals in the amylin-positive cells. However, in the pars distalis, the αMSH-positive cells did not contain amylin-immunoreactive secretory granules. Western blot analysis of axolotl pituitary extracts revealed the labeling of a protein band at approximately 10.5-kDa by the anti-rat amylin serum, which was not labeled by the anti-αMSH antibody. These findings indicate that amylin secreted from MSH-producing cells in the pars intermedia may modulate MSH secretion in an autocrine fashion and may participate in MSH functions such as fatty homeostasis together with MSH. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  1. Regeneration of limb joints in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jangwoo; Gardiner, David M

    2012-01-01

    In spite of numerous investigations of regenerating salamander limbs, little attention has been paid to the details of how joints are reformed. An understanding of the process and mechanisms of joint regeneration in this model system for tetrapod limb regeneration would provide insights into developing novel therapies for inducing joint regeneration in humans. To this end, we have used the axolotl (Mexican Salamander) model of limb regeneration to describe the morphology and the expression patterns of marker genes during joint regeneration in response to limb amputation. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that the mechanisms of joint formation whether it be development or regeneration are conserved. We also have determined that defects in the epiphyseal region of both forelimbs and hind limbs in the axolotl are regenerated only when the defect is small. As is the case with defects in the diaphysis, there is a critical size above which the endogenous regenerative response is not sufficient to regenerate the joint. This non-regenerative response in an animal that has the ability to regenerate perfectly provides the opportunity to screen for the signaling pathways to induce regeneration of articular cartilage and joints.

  2. Regeneration of limb joints in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jangwoo Lee

    Full Text Available In spite of numerous investigations of regenerating salamander limbs, little attention has been paid to the details of how joints are reformed. An understanding of the process and mechanisms of joint regeneration in this model system for tetrapod limb regeneration would provide insights into developing novel therapies for inducing joint regeneration in humans. To this end, we have used the axolotl (Mexican Salamander model of limb regeneration to describe the morphology and the expression patterns of marker genes during joint regeneration in response to limb amputation. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that the mechanisms of joint formation whether it be development or regeneration are conserved. We also have determined that defects in the epiphyseal region of both forelimbs and hind limbs in the axolotl are regenerated only when the defect is small. As is the case with defects in the diaphysis, there is a critical size above which the endogenous regenerative response is not sufficient to regenerate the joint. This non-regenerative response in an animal that has the ability to regenerate perfectly provides the opportunity to screen for the signaling pathways to induce regeneration of articular cartilage and joints.

  3. An introduction to the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gresens, Jill

    2004-10-01

    A number of unusual traits, including a remarkable capacity for wound healing and limb regeneration, make the axolotl an interesting animal model. The author provides an overview of axolotl care and use in biomedical research.

  4. Species Profile: Flatwoods Salamander (Ambystoma cingulatum) on Military Installations in the Southeastern United States

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Palis, John

    1997-01-01

    .... Fish and Wildlife Service. The species inhabits the lower Southeastern Coastal Plain from southern South Carolina to northern Florida, and westward through Georgia to extreme southwestern Alabama...

  5. Regulation of Regenerative Responses by Factors in the Extracellular Matrix during Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) Limb Regeneration

    OpenAIRE

    Phan, Anne Quy

    2014-01-01

    Salamanders are unique among adult vertebrates in their ability to regenerate complex body structures after traumatic injury. Axolotl limb regeneration is a stepwise sequence of three requisite processes: (1) scarless wound healing to generate a regenerative wound epithelium, (2) blastema formation by migration, proliferation and dedifferentiation to create a mass of multipotent regeneration-competent progenitor cells, and (3) induction of pattern formation by interaction of cells with opposi...

  6. Neurotrophic regulation of epidermal dedifferentiation during wound healing and limb regeneration in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satoh, A; Graham, G M C; Bryant, S V; Gardiner, D M

    2008-07-15

    Adult urodeles (salamanders) are unique in their ability to regenerate complex organs perfectly. The recently developed Accessory Limb Model (ALM) in the axolotl provides an opportunity to identify and characterize the essential signaling events that control the early steps in limb regeneration. The ALM demonstrates that limb regeneration progresses in a stepwise fashion that is dependent on signals from the wound epidermis, nerves and dermal fibroblasts from opposite sides of the limb. When all the signals are present, a limb is formed de novo. The ALM thus provides an opportunity to identify and characterize the signaling pathways that control blastema morphogenesis and limb regeneration. In the present study, we have utilized the ALM to identity the buttonhead-like zinc-finger transcription factor, Sp9, as being involved in the formation of the regeneration epithelium. Sp9 expression is induced in basal keratinocytes of the apical blastema epithelium in a pattern that is comparable to its expression in developing limb buds, and it thus is an important marker for dedifferentiation of the epidermis. Induction of Sp9 expression is nerve-dependent, and we have identified KGF as an endogenous nerve factor that induces expression of Sp9 in the regeneration epithelium.

  7. Severe necrotizing myocarditis caused by serratia marcescens infection in an axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del-Pozo, J; Girling, S; Pizzi, R; Mancinelli, E; Else, R W

    2011-05-01

    This report provides the first account of the pathological changes associated with infection by Serratia marcescens in an adult male axolotl. The infection resulted in septicaemia with severe multifocal necrotizing myocarditis. The latter lesion evolved to cardiac rupture, haemopericardium and death resulting from cardiac tamponade. This animal was exposed to higher than usual temperatures (24-25 °C) 2 weeks before the onset of disease and this may have resulted in immunocompromise and opportunistic bacterial infection. S. marcescens was isolated from the coelomic and pericardial cavity. Both isolates were identical and were resistant to β-lactam antibiotics, but not to aminoglycosides or fluoroquinolones. The production of red prodigiosin pigment by the bacterium suggested an environmental origin. Overall, the clinical and histopathological presentation suggests that S. marcescens should be included in the list of aetiological agents of the 'red-leg'/bacterial dermatosepticaemia syndrome of amphibians. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Cartilage and bone cells do not participate in skeletal regeneration in Ambystoma mexicanum limbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCusker, Catherine D; Diaz-Castillo, Carlos; Sosnik, Julian; Q Phan, Anne; Gardiner, David M

    2016-08-01

    The Mexican Axolotl is one of the few tetrapod species that is capable of regenerating complete skeletal elements in injured adult limbs. Whether the skeleton (bone and cartilage) plays a role in the patterning and contribution to the skeletal regenerate is currently unresolved. We tested the induction of pattern formation, the effect on cell proliferation, and contributions of skeletal tissues (cartilage, bone, and periosteum) to the regenerating axolotl limb. We found that bone tissue grafts from transgenic donors expressing GFP fail to induce pattern formation and do not contribute to the newly regenerated skeleton. Periosteum tissue grafts, on the other hand, have both of these activities. These observations reveal that skeletal tissue does not contribute to the regeneration of skeletal elements; rather, these structures are patterned by and derived from cells of non-skeletal connective tissue origin. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Positional information is reprogrammed in blastema cells of the regenerating limb of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCusker, Catherine D; Gardiner, David M

    2013-01-01

    The regenerating region of an amputated salamander limb, known as the blastema, has the amazing capacity to replace exactly the missing structures. By grafting cells from different stages and regions of blastemas induced to form on donor animals expressing Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), to non-GFP host animals, we have determined that the cells from early stage blastemas, as well as cells at the tip of late stage blastemas are developmentally labile such that their positional identity is reprogrammed by interactions with more proximal cells with stable positional information. In contrast, cells from the adjacent, more proximal stump tissues as well as the basal region of late bud blastemas are positionally stable, and thus form ectopic limb structures when grafted. Finally, we have found that a nerve is required to maintain the blastema cells in a positionally labile state, thus indicating a role for reprogramming cues in the blastema microenvironment.

  10. Enzyme clusters during the metamorphic period of Ambystoma mexicanum: role of thyroid hormone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamers, W. H.; Mooren, P. G.; de Graaf, A.

    1982-01-01

    Enzyme activities and DNA content have been measure in axolotl liver during the metamorphic period (4-8 months after spawning). Three different types of enzyme activity profiles were observed. In the type I profile (carbamoyl-phosphate synthase, arginase, ornithine transcarbamoylase, and glutamate

  11. Positional information is reprogrammed in blastema cells of the regenerating limb of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine D McCusker

    Full Text Available The regenerating region of an amputated salamander limb, known as the blastema, has the amazing capacity to replace exactly the missing structures. By grafting cells from different stages and regions of blastemas induced to form on donor animals expressing Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP, to non-GFP host animals, we have determined that the cells from early stage blastemas, as well as cells at the tip of late stage blastemas are developmentally labile such that their positional identity is reprogrammed by interactions with more proximal cells with stable positional information. In contrast, cells from the adjacent, more proximal stump tissues as well as the basal region of late bud blastemas are positionally stable, and thus form ectopic limb structures when grafted. Finally, we have found that a nerve is required to maintain the blastema cells in a positionally labile state, thus indicating a role for reprogramming cues in the blastema microenvironment.

  12. Dual embryonic origin and patterning of the pharyngeal skeleton in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sefton, Elizabeth M; Piekarski, Nadine; Hanken, James

    2015-01-01

    The impressive morphological diversification of vertebrates was achieved in part by innovation and modification of the pharyngeal skeleton. Extensive fate mapping in amniote models has revealed a primarily cranial neural crest derivation of the pharyngeal skeleton. Although comparable fate maps of amphibians produced over several decades have failed to document a neural crest derivation of ventromedial elements in these vertebrates, a recent report provides evidence of a mesodermal origin of one of these elements, basibranchial 2, in the axolotl. We used a transgenic labeling protocol and grafts of labeled cells between GFP+ and white embryos to derive a fate map that describes contributions of both cranial neural crest and mesoderm to the axolotl pharyngeal skeleton, and we conducted additional experiments that probe the mechanisms that underlie mesodermal patterning. Our fate map confirms a dual embryonic origin of the pharyngeal skeleton in urodeles, including derivation of basibranchial 2 from mesoderm closely associated with the second heart field. Additionally, heterotopic transplantation experiments reveal lineage restriction of mesodermal cells that contribute to pharyngeal cartilage. The mesoderm-derived component of the pharyngeal skeleton appears to be particularly sensitive to retinoic acid (RA): administration of exogenous RA leads to loss of the second basibranchial, but not the first. Neural crest was undoubtedly critical in the evolution of the vertebrate pharyngeal skeleton, but mesoderm may have played a central role in forming ventromedial elements, in particular. When and how many times during vertebrate phylogeny a mesodermal contribution to the pharyngeal skeleton evolved remain to be resolved. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Identification of Mutant Genes and Introgressed Tiger Salamander DNA in the Laboratory Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodcock, M Ryan; Vaughn-Wolfe, Jennifer; Elias, Alexandra; Kump, D Kevin; Kendall, Katharina Denise; Timoshevskaya, Nataliya; Timoshevskiy, Vladimir; Perry, Dustin W; Smith, Jeramiah J; Spiewak, Jessica E; Parichy, David M; Voss, S Randal

    2017-01-31

    The molecular genetic toolkit of the Mexican axolotl, a classic model organism, has matured to the point where it is now possible to identify genes for mutant phenotypes. We used a positional cloning-candidate gene approach to identify molecular bases for two historic axolotl pigment phenotypes: white and albino. White (d/d) mutants have defects in pigment cell morphogenesis and differentiation, whereas albino (a/a) mutants lack melanin. We identified in white mutants a transcriptional defect in endothelin 3 (edn3), encoding a peptide factor that promotes pigment cell migration and differentiation in other vertebrates. Transgenic restoration of Edn3 expression rescued the homozygous white mutant phenotype. We mapped the albino locus to tyrosinase (tyr) and identified polymorphisms shared between the albino allele (tyr a ) and tyr alleles in a Minnesota population of tiger salamanders from which the albino trait was introgressed. tyr a has a 142 bp deletion and similar engineered alleles recapitulated the albino phenotype. Finally, we show that historical introgression of tyr a significantly altered genomic composition of the laboratory axolotl, yielding a distinct, hybrid strain of ambystomatid salamander. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of identifying genes for traits in the laboratory Mexican axolotl.

  14. Regulation of proximal-distal intercalation during limb regeneration in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satoh, Akira; Cummings, Gillian M C; Bryant, Susan V; Gardiner, David M

    2010-12-01

    Intercalation is the process whereby cells located at the boundary of a wound interact to stimulate proliferation and the restoration of the structures between the boundaries that were lost during wounding. Thus, intercalation is widely considered to be the mechanism of regeneration. When a salamander limb is amputated, the entire cascade of regeneration events is activated, and the missing limb segments and their boundaries (joints) as well as the structures within each segment are regenerated. Therefore, in an amputated limb it is not possible to distinguish between intersegmental regeneration (formation of new segments/joints) and intrasegmental regeneration (formation of structures within a given segment), and it is not possible to study the differential regulation of these two processes. We have used two models for regeneration that allow us to study these two processes independently, and report that inter- and intrasegmental regeneration are different processes regulated by different signaling pathways. New limb segments/joints can be regenerated from cells that dedifferentiate to form blastema cells in response to signaling that is mediated in part by fibroblast growth factor. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.

  15. Neurotrophic regulation of fibroblast dedifferentiation during limb skeletal regeneration in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satoh, Akira; Cummings, Gillian M C; Bryant, Susan V; Gardiner, David M

    2010-01-15

    The ability of animals to repair tissue damage is widespread and impressive. Among tissues, the repair and remodeling of bone occurs during growth and in response to injury; however, loss of bone above a threshold amount is not regenerated, resulting in a "critical-size defect" (CSD). The development of therapies to replace or regenerate a CSD is a major focus of research in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Adult urodeles (salamanders) are unique in their ability to regenerate complex tissues perfectly, yet like mammals do not regenerate a CSD. We report on an experimental model for the regeneration of a CSD in the axolotl (the Excisional Regeneration Model) that allows for the identification of signals to induce fibroblast dedifferentiation and skeletal regeneration. This regenerative response is mediated in part by BMP signaling, as is the case in mammals; however, a complete regenerative response requires the induction of a population of undifferentiated, regeneration-competent cells. These cells can be induced by signaling from limb amputation to generate blastema cells that can be grafted to the wound, as well as by signaling from a nerve and a wound epithelium to induce blastema cells from fibroblasts within the wound environment. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Collagen reconstitution is inversely correlated with induction of limb regeneration in Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satoh, Akira; Hirata, Ayako; Makanae, Aki

    2012-03-01

    Amphibians can regenerate missing body parts, including limbs. The regulation of collagen has been considered to be important in limb regeneration. Collagen deposition is suppressed during limb regeneration, so we investigated collagen deposition and apical epithelial cap (AEC) formation during axolotl limb regeneration. The accessory limb model (ALM) has been developed as an alternative model for studying limb regeneration. Using this model, we investigated the relationship between nerves, epidermis, and collagen deposition. We found that Sp-9, an AEC marker gene, was upregulated by direct interaction between nerves and epidermis. However, collagen deposition hindered this interaction, and resulted in the failure of limb regeneration. During wound healing, an increase in deposition of collagen caused a decrease in the blastema induction rate in ALM. Wound healing and limb regeneration are alternate processes.

  17. Detailed tail proteomic analysis of axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) using an mRNA-seq reference database.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demircan, Turan; Keskin, Ilknur; Dumlu, Seda Nilgün; Aytürk, Nilüfer; Avşaroğlu, Mahmut Erhan; Akgün, Emel; Öztürk, Gürkan; Baykal, Ahmet Tarık

    2017-01-01

    Salamander axolotl has been emerging as an important model for stem cell research due to its powerful regenerative capacity. Several advantages, such as the high capability of advanced tissue, organ, and appendages regeneration, promote axolotl as an ideal model system to extend our current understanding on the mechanisms of regeneration. Acknowledging the common molecular pathways between amphibians and mammals, there is a great potential to translate the messages from axolotl research to mammalian studies. However, the utilization of axolotl is hindered due to the lack of reference databases of genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic data. Here, we introduce the proteome analysis of the axolotl tail section searched against an mRNA-seq database. We translated axolotl mRNA sequences to protein sequences and annotated these to process the LC-MS/MS data and identified 1001 nonredundant proteins. Functional classification of identified proteins was performed by gene ontology searches. The presence of some of the identified proteins was validated by in situ antibody labeling. Furthermore, we have analyzed the proteome expressional changes postamputation at three time points to evaluate the underlying mechanisms of the regeneration process. Taken together, this work expands the proteomics data of axolotl to contribute to its establishment as a fully utilized model. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. Dual embryonic origin of the hyobranchial apparatus in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidian, Asya; Malashichev, Yegor

    2013-01-01

    Traditionally, the cartilaginous viscerocranium of vertebrates is considered as neural crest (NC)-derived. Morphological work carried out on amphibian embryos in the first half of the XX century suggested potentially mesodermal origin for some hyobranchial elements. Since then, the embryonic sources of the hyobranchial apparatus in amphibians has not been investigated due to lack of an appropriate long-term labelling system. We performed homotopic transplantations of neural folds along with the majority of cells of the presumptive NC, and/or fragments of the head lateral plate mesoderm (LPM) from transgenic GFP+ into white embryos. In these experiments, the NC-derived GFP+ cells contributed to all hyobranchial elements, except for basibranchial 2, whereas the grafting of GFP+ head mesoderm led to a reverse labelling result. The grafting of only the most ventral part of the head LPM resulted in marking of the basibranchial 2 and the heart myocardium, implying their origin from a common mesodermal region. This is the first evidence of contribution of LPM of the head to cranial elements in any vertebrate. If compared to fish, birds, and mammals, in which all branchial skeletal elements are NC-derived, the axolotl (probably this is true for all amphibians) demonstrates an evolutionary deviation, in which the head LPM replaces NC cells in a hyobranchial element. This implies that cells of different embryonic origin may have the same developmental program, leading to the formation of identical (homologous) elements of the skeleton.

  19. Terminal-Nerve-Derived Neuropeptide Y Modulates Physiological Responses in the Olfactory Epithelium of Hungry Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum)

    OpenAIRE

    Mousley, Angela; Polese, Gianluca; Marks, Nikki J.; Eisthen, Heather L.

    2006-01-01

    The vertebrate brain actively regulates incoming sensory information, effectively filtering input and focusing attention toward environmental stimuli that are most relevant to the animal's behavioral context or physiological state. Such centrifugal modulation has been shown to play an important role in processing in the retina and cochlea, but has received relatively little attention in olfaction. The terminal nerve, a cranial nerve that extends underneath the lamina propria surrounding the o...

  20. Effects of pH on embryo tolerance and adult behavior in the tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whiteman, H H; Howard, R D; Whitten, K A [Purdue Univ., Lafayette, IN (United States). Dept. of Biological Sciences

    1995-08-01

    Adult discrimination ability and embryo performance was examined under different pH conditions in the eastern tiger salamander. Individuals from three populations were collected in habitats that differed naturally in pH. Two pH treatments were used to determine adult pH discrimination ability, and eight pH treatments to evaluate embryo performance. Results suggested that the pH of the source-population habitat could influence breeding-habitat discrimination by adults. Decreasing pH produced similar patterns of lethal and sublethal effects on embryos from the three populations, with reduced performance at low pH. The pH at which 50% mortality occurs was estimated at 4.2, suggesting that tiger salamanders were relatively acid tolerant. The study suggested that adult behavior patterns could influence the success of population reintroductions to previously acidified areas. 78 refs., 2 tabs., 4 figs.

  1. Using Ambystoma mexicanum (Mexican axolotl) embryos, chemical genetics, and microarray analysis to identify signaling pathways associated with tissue regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponomareva, Larissa V; Athippozhy, Antony; Thorson, Jon S; Voss, S Randal

    2015-12-01

    Amphibian vertebrates are important models in regenerative biology because they present exceptional regenerative capabilities throughout life. However, it takes considerable effort to rear amphibians to juvenile and adult stages for regeneration studies, and the relatively large sizes that frogs and salamanders achieve during development make them difficult to use in chemical screens. Here, we introduce a new tail regeneration model using late stage Mexican axolotl embryos. We show that axolotl embryos completely regenerate amputated tails in 7days before they exhaust their yolk supply and begin to feed. Further, we show that axolotl embryos can be efficiently reared in microtiter plates to achieve moderate throughput screening of soluble chemicals to investigate toxicity and identify molecules that alter regenerative outcome. As proof of principle, we identified integration 1 / wingless (Wnt), transforming growth factor beta (Tgf-β), and fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) pathway antagonists that completely block tail regeneration and additional chemicals that significantly affected tail outgrowth. Furthermore, we used microarray analysis to show that inhibition of Wnt signaling broadly affects transcription of genes associated with Wnt, Fgf, Tgf-β, epidermal growth factor (Egf), Notch, nerve growth factor (Ngf), homeotic gene (Hox), rat sarcoma/mitogen-activated protein kinase (Ras/Mapk), myelocytomatosis viral oncogene (Myc), tumor protein 53 (p53), and retinoic acid (RA) pathways. Punctuated changes in the expression of genes known to regulate vertebrate development were observed; this suggests the tail regeneration transcriptional program is hierarchically structured and temporally ordered. Our study establishes the axolotl as a chemical screening model to investigate signaling pathways associated with tissue regeneration. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Nerve signaling regulates basal keratinocyte proliferation in the blastema apical epithelial cap in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satoh, Akira; Bryant, Susan V; Gardiner, David M

    2012-06-15

    The ability of adult vertebrates to repair tissue damage is widespread and impressive; however, the ability to regenerate structurally complex organs such as the limb is limited largely to the salamanders. The fact that most of the tissues of the limb can regenerate has led investigators to question and identify the barriers to organ regeneration. From studies in the salamander, it is known that one of the earliest steps required for successful regeneration involves signaling between nerves and the wound epithelium/apical epithelial cap (AEC). In this study we confirm an earlier report that the keratinocytes of the AEC acquire their function coincident with exiting the cell cycle. We have discovered that this unique, coordinated behavior is regulated by nerve signaling and is associated with the presence of gap junctions between the basal keratinocytes of the AEC. Disruption of nerve signaling results in a loss of gap junction protein, the reentry of the cells into the cell cycle, and regenerative failure. Finally, coordinated exit from the cell cycle appears to be a conserved behavior of populations of cells that function as signaling centers during both development and regeneration. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Virtual Genome Walking across the 32 Gb Ambystoma mexicanum genome; assembling gene models and intronic sequence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Teri; Johnson, Andrew D; Loose, Matthew

    2018-01-12

    Large repeat rich genomes present challenges for assembly using short read technologies. The 32 Gb axolotl genome is estimated to contain ~19 Gb of repetitive DNA making an assembly from short reads alone effectively impossible. Indeed, this model species has been sequenced to 20× coverage but the reads could not be conventionally assembled. Using an alternative strategy, we have assembled subsets of these reads into scaffolds describing over 19,000 gene models. We call this method Virtual Genome Walking as it locally assembles whole genome reads based on a reference transcriptome, identifying exons and iteratively extending them into surrounding genomic sequence. These assemblies are then linked and refined to generate gene models including upstream and downstream genomic, and intronic, sequence. Our assemblies are validated by comparison with previously published axolotl bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) sequences. Our analyses of axolotl intron length, intron-exon structure, repeat content and synteny provide novel insights into the genic structure of this model species. This resource will enable new experimental approaches in axolotl, such as ChIP-Seq and CRISPR and aid in future whole genome sequencing efforts. The assembled sequences and annotations presented here are freely available for download from https://tinyurl.com/y8gydc6n . The software pipeline is available from https://github.com/LooseLab/iterassemble .

  4. Gain-of-function assays in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) to identify signaling pathways that induce and regulate limb regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jangwoo; Aguilar, Cristian; Gardiner, David

    2013-01-01

    The adult salamander has been studied as a model for regeneration of complex tissues for many decades. Only recently with the development of gain-of-function assays for regeneration, has it been possible to screen for and assay the function of the multitude of signaling factors that have been identified in studies of embryonic development and tumorigenesis. Given the conservation of function of these regulatory pathways controlling growth and pattern formation, it is now possible to use the functional assays in the salamander to test the ability of endogenous as well as small-molecule signaling factors to induce a regenerative response.

  5. [Specific growth rate and the rate of energy metabolism in the ontogenesis of axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum (Amphibia: Ambystomatidae)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vladimirova, I G; Kleĭmenov, S Iu; Alekseeva, T A; Radzinskaia, L I

    2003-01-01

    Concordant changes in the rate of energy metabolism and specific growth rate of axolotls have been revealed. Several periods of ontogeny are distinguished, which differ in the ratio of energy metabolism to body weight and, therefore, are described by different allometric equations. It is suggested that the specific growth rate of an animal determines the type of dependence of energy metabolism on body weight.

  6. Regulation of Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) Limb Blastema Cell Proliferation by Nerves and BMP2 in Organotypic Slice Culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehrberg, Jeffrey; Gardiner, David M

    2015-01-01

    We have modified and optimized the technique of organotypic slice culture in order to study the mechanisms regulating growth and pattern formation in regenerating axolotl limb blastemas. Blastema cells maintain many of the behaviors that are characteristic of blastemas in vivo when cultured as slices in vitro, including rates of proliferation that are comparable to what has been reported in vivo. Because the blastema slices can be cultured in basal medium without fetal bovine serum, it was possible to test the response of blastema cells to signaling molecules present in serum, as well as those produced by nerves. We also were able to investigate the response of blastema cells to experimentally regulated changes in BMP signaling. Blastema cells responded to all of these signals by increasing the rate of proliferation and the level of expression of the blastema marker gene, Prrx-1. The organotypic slice culture model provides the opportunity to identify and characterize the spatial and temporal co-regulation of pathways in order to induce and enhance a regenerative response.

  7. FGF and BMP derived from dorsal root ganglia regulate blastema induction in limb regeneration in Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satoh, Akira; Makanae, Aki; Nishimoto, Yurie; Mitogawa, Kazumasa

    2016-09-01

    Urodele amphibians have a remarkable organ regeneration ability that is regulated by neural inputs. The identification of these neural inputs has been a challenge. Recently, Fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) and Bone morphogenic protein (Bmp) were shown to substitute for nerve functions in limb and tail regeneration in urodele amphibians. However, direct evidence of Fgf and Bmp being secreted from nerve endings and regulating regeneration has not yet been shown. Thus, it remained uncertain whether they were the nerve factors responsible for successful limb regeneration. To gather experimental evidence, the technical difficulties involved in the usage of axolotls had to be overcome. We achieved this by modifying the electroporation method. When Fgf8-AcGFP or Bmp7-AcGFP was electroporated into the axolotl dorsal root ganglia (DRG), GFP signals were detectable in the regenerating limb region. This suggested that Fgf8 and Bmp7 synthesized in neural cells in the DRG were delivered to the limbs through the long axons. Further knockdown experiments with double-stranded RNA interference resulted in impaired limb regeneration ability. These results strongly suggest that Fgf and Bmp are the major neural inputs that control the organ regeneration ability. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Regulation of Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum Limb Blastema Cell Proliferation by Nerves and BMP2 in Organotypic Slice Culture.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey Lehrberg

    Full Text Available We have modified and optimized the technique of organotypic slice culture in order to study the mechanisms regulating growth and pattern formation in regenerating axolotl limb blastemas. Blastema cells maintain many of the behaviors that are characteristic of blastemas in vivo when cultured as slices in vitro, including rates of proliferation that are comparable to what has been reported in vivo. Because the blastema slices can be cultured in basal medium without fetal bovine serum, it was possible to test the response of blastema cells to signaling molecules present in serum, as well as those produced by nerves. We also were able to investigate the response of blastema cells to experimentally regulated changes in BMP signaling. Blastema cells responded to all of these signals by increasing the rate of proliferation and the level of expression of the blastema marker gene, Prrx-1. The organotypic slice culture model provides the opportunity to identify and characterize the spatial and temporal co-regulation of pathways in order to induce and enhance a regenerative response.

  9. Absence of mutation at the 5'-upstream promoter region of the TPM4 gene from cardiac mutant axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denz, Christopher R; Zhang, Chi; Jia, Pingping; Du, Jianfeng; Huang, Xupei; Dube, Syamalima; Thomas, Anish; Poiesz, Bernard J; Dube, Dipak K

    2011-09-01

    Tropomyosins are a family of actin-binding proteins that show cell-specific diversity by a combination of multiple genes and alternative RNA splicing. Of the 4 different tropomyosin genes, TPM4 plays a pivotal role in myofibrillogenesis as well as cardiac contractility in amphibians. In this study, we amplified and sequenced the upstream regulatory region of the TPM4 gene from both normal and mutant axolotl hearts. To identify the cis-elements that are essential for the expression of the TPM4, we created various deletion mutants of the TPM4 promoter DNA, inserted the deleted segments into PGL3 vector, and performed promoter-reporter assay using luciferase as the reporter gene. Comparison of sequences of the promoter region of the TPM4 gene from normal and mutant axolotl revealed no mutations in the promoter sequence of the mutant TPM4 gene. CArG box elements that are generally involved in controlling the expression of several other muscle-specific gene promoters were not found in the upstream regulatory region of the TPM4 gene. In deletion experiments, loss of activity of the reporter gene was noted upon deletion which was then restored upon further deletion suggesting the presence of both positive and negative cis-elements in the upstream regulatory region of the TPM4 gene. We believe that this is the first axolotl promoter that has ever been cloned and studied with clear evidence that it functions in mammalian cell lines. Although striated muscle-specific cis-acting elements are absent from the promoter region of TPM4 gene, our results suggest the presence of positive and negative cis-elements in the promoter region, which in conjunction with positive and negative trans-elements may be involved in regulating the expression of TPM4 gene in a tissue-specific manner.

  10. INTERACTIONS BETWEEN BRANCHIATE MOLE SALAMANDERS (AMBYSTOMA TALPOIDEUM) AND LESSER SIRENS (SIREN INTERMEDIA): ASYMMETRICAL COMPETITION AND INTRAGUILD PREDATION. (R825795)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  11. Positional information in axolotl and mouse limb extracellular matrix is mediated via heparan sulfate and fibroblast growth factor during limb regeneration in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phan, Anne Q; Lee, Jangwoo; Oei, Michelle; Flath, Craig; Hwe, Caitlyn; Mariano, Rachele; Vu, Tiffany; Shu, Cynthia; Dinh, Andrew; Simkin, Jennifer; Muneoka, Ken; Bryant, Susan V; Gardiner, David M

    2015-08-01

    Urodele amphibians are unique among adult vertebrates in their ability to regenerate complex body structures after traumatic injury. In salamander regeneration, the cells maintain a memory of their original position and use this positional information to recreate the missing pattern. We used an in vivo gain-of-function assay to determine whether components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) have positional information required to induce formation of new limb pattern during regeneration. We discovered that salamander limb ECM has a position-specific ability to either inhibit regeneration or induce de novo limb structure, and that this difference is dependent on heparan sulfates that are associated with differential expression of heparan sulfate sulfotransferases. We also discovered that an artificial ECM containing only heparan sulfate was sufficient to induce de novo limb pattern in salamander limb regeneration. Finally, ECM from mouse limbs is capable of inducing limb pattern in axolotl blastemas in a position-specific, developmental-stage-specific, and heparan sulfate-dependent manner. This study demonstrates a mechanism for positional information in regeneration and establishes a crucial functional link between salamander regeneration and mammals.

  12. The yeast two hybrid system in a screen for proteins interacting with axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) Msx1 during early limb regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abuqarn, Mehtap; Allmeling, Christina; Amshoff, Inga; Menger, Bjoern; Nasser, Inas; Vogt, Peter M; Reimers, Kerstin

    2011-07-01

    Urodele amphibians are exceptional in their ability to regenerate complex body structures such as limbs. Limb regeneration depends on a process called dedifferentiation. Under an inductive wound epidermis terminally differentiated cells transform to pluripotent progenitor cells that coordinately proliferate and eventually redifferentiate to form the new appendage. Recent studies have developed molecular models integrating a set of genes that might have important functions in the control of regenerative cellular plasticity. Among them is Msx1, which induced dedifferentiation in mammalian myotubes in vitro. Herein, we screened for interaction partners of axolotl Msx1 using a yeast two hybrid system. A two hybrid cDNA library of 5-day-old wound epidermis and underlying tissue containing more than 2×10⁶ cDNAs was constructed and used in the screen. 34 resulting cDNA clones were isolated and sequenced. We then compared sequences of the isolated clones to annotated EST contigs of the Salamander EST database (BLASTn) to identify presumptive orthologs. We subsequently searched all no-hit clone sequences against non redundant NCBI sequence databases using BLASTx. It is the first time, that the yeast two hybrid system was adapted to the axolotl animal model and successfully used in a screen for proteins interacting with Msx1 in the context of amphibian limb regeneration. 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. SPATIALLY AUTOCORRELATED DEMOGRAPHY AND INTERPOND MIGRATION IN THE CALIFORNIA TIGER SALAMANDER (AMBYSTOME CALIFORNIENSE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    We investigated the metapopulation structure of the California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense) using a combination of indirect and direct methods to evaluate two key requirements of modern metapopulation models: 1) that patches support somewhat independent populations ...

  14. MRI tracking of SPIO labelled stem cells in a true regenerative environment, the regenerating limb of the axolotl

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lauridsen, Henrik; Foldager, Casper Bindzus; Hagensen, Mette

    are generally restricted by their limited regenerative potential. Conversely, excellent animal models for regenerative studies exist in lower vertebrates such as the urodele amphibians (salamanders and newts), exemplified in the iconic Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) capable of regenerating whole limbs...

  15. Journal of Genetics | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Genetics. ARMANDO SUNNY. Articles written in Journal of Genetics. Volume 96 Issue 6 December 2017 pp 873-883 RESEARCH ARTICLE. Genetic variability and structure of an isolated population of Ambystoma altamirani , a mole salamander that lives in the mountains of one of the largest ...

  16. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy in a true regenerative environment, the regenerating limb of the axolotl

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Kasper; Lauridsen, Henrik; Pedersen, Michael

    2012-01-01

    vertebrates such as the urodele amphibians (salamanders and newts), are excellent animal models for regenerative studies. The iconic Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is capable of regenerating whole limbs, tail, jaw, and many inner organs, by dedifferentiation of cells to form a blastema (collection...

  17. The Center for Regenerative Biology and Medicine at Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-08-01

    TERMS limb regeneration Positional Memory Code Axolotl microRNAs Zebrafish Polypterus 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17. LIMITATION OF ABSTRACT 18...injury induced regeneration of limbs/appendage tissues in Ambystoma ( axolotl ) and Polypterus animals. The defining feature of limb/appendage...downregulated in UPREGULATED DOWNREGULATED Figure 1: Venn diagram of UniProt protein sequence IDs among Axolotl and Polypterus contigs that

  18. Functional characterization of the vertebrate primary ureter: Structure and ion transport mechanisms of the pronephric duct in axolotl larvae (Amphibia)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haugan, Birgitte M; Halberg, Kenneth Agerlin; Jespersen, Åse

    2010-01-01

    whether the duct is involved in urine modification using larvae of the freshwater amphibian Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl) as model. Results We investigated structural as well as physiological properties of the pronephric duct. The key elements of our methodology were: using histology, light...

  19. The Mexican Axolotl in Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, R. M.

    1976-01-01

    Suggests and describes laboratory activities in which the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum Shaw) is used, including experiments in embryology and early development, growth and regeneration, neoteny and metamorphosis, genetics and coloration, anatomy and physiology, and behavior. Discusses care and maintenance of animals. (CS)

  20. Intracellular Signalling in Retinal Ischemia

    Science.gov (United States)

    1990-07-01

    spatial buffering capacity of the Miller cells of axolotl retina indicated that gap junctional coupling can increase the capacity of the Muller cell to...1974. 27 33. Mobbs P, Brew H, and Atwell D: A quantitative analysis of glial cell coupling in the retina of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). Brain

  1. Environmental Assessment for Conversion of the Existing Aero Club Runway to Emergency Helipad for David Grant Medical Center Travis Air Force Base, Fairfield, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    FT Potential Ambystoma californiense California tiger salamander FT Known Branchinecta conservatio Conservancy fairy shrimp FE Potential Elaphrus...elderberry longhorn beetle FT Potential Branchinecta lynchi Vernal pool fairy shrimp FT Known Lepidurus packardi Vernal pool tadpole shrimp FE...Area. During 2008 vernal pool invertebrate monitoring, CTS larvae were discovered in the northeastern part of Travis AFB, in the Castle Terrace

  2. Environmental Assessment 819th Red Horse Five Year Plan, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-08-07

    the health of sensitive populations such as people with asthma , children, and the 23 elderly. Secondary standards define levels of air quality...pipiens), the tiger salamander 38 (Ambystoma tigrinum), and painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) (MTNHP 2006a). Other species 39 that may live in the

  3. Origin of amphibian and avian chromosomes by fission, fusion, and retention of ancestral chromosomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voss, Stephen R.; Kump, D. Kevin; Putta, Srikrishna; Pauly, Nathan; Reynolds, Anna; Henry, Rema J.; Basa, Saritha; Walker, John A.; Smith, Jeramiah J.

    2011-01-01

    Amphibian genomes differ greatly in DNA content and chromosome size, morphology, and number. Investigations of this diversity are needed to identify mechanisms that have shaped the evolution of vertebrate genomes. We used comparative mapping to investigate the organization of genes in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), a species that presents relatively few chromosomes (n = 14) and a gigantic genome (>20 pg/N). We show extensive conservation of synteny between Ambystoma, chicken, and human, and a positive correlation between the length of conserved segments and genome size. Ambystoma segments are estimated to be four to 51 times longer than homologous human and chicken segments. Strikingly, genes demarking the structures of 28 chicken chromosomes are ordered among linkage groups defining the Ambystoma genome, and we show that these same chromosomal segments are also conserved in a distantly related anuran amphibian (Xenopus tropicalis). Using linkage relationships from the amphibian maps, we predict that three chicken chromosomes originated by fusion, nine to 14 originated by fission, and 12–17 evolved directly from ancestral tetrapod chromosomes. We further show that some ancestral segments were fused prior to the divergence of salamanders and anurans, while others fused independently and randomly as chromosome numbers were reduced in lineages leading to Ambystoma and Xenopus. The maintenance of gene order relationships between chromosomal segments that have greatly expanded and contracted in salamander and chicken genomes, respectively, suggests selection to maintain synteny relationships and/or extremely low rates of chromosomal rearrangement. Overall, the results demonstrate the value of data from diverse, amphibian genomes in studies of vertebrate genome evolution. PMID:21482624

  4. Propofol (2,6-diisopropylphenol) is an applicable immersion anesthetic in the axolotl with potential uses in hemodynamic and neurophysiological experiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thygesen, Mathias; Rasmussen, Mikkel Mylius; Madsen, Jesper Guldsmed

    2017-01-01

    The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is an important model species in regenerative biology. Traditionally, axolotls are anesthetized using benzocaine or MS-222, both of which act to inhibit voltage gated sodium channels thereby preventing action potential propagation. In some neurophysiologi......The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is an important model species in regenerative biology. Traditionally, axolotls are anesthetized using benzocaine or MS-222, both of which act to inhibit voltage gated sodium channels thereby preventing action potential propagation. In some...... neurophysiological experiments this is not desirable; therefore we tested propofol as an alternative anesthetic in the axolotl. We evaluated benzocaine, MS-222, and propofol's cardiovascular effects, effects on action potential propagation in the spinal cord, and gross limb regenerative effects. We found...

  5. Environmental Assessment to Construct a Perimeter Fence at Georgetown Military Family Housing Travis Air Force Base, Fairfield, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-06

    Herpetology 28(2): 159-164. California Department ofFish and Game. 2011. RAREFIND. Natural Heritage Division, Sacramento, California. Feaver, P. E...California tiger salamander. Journal of Herpetology 30(2): 282-285. Morey, S. R. 1998. Pool duration influences age and body mass at metamorphosis in the...V.J. 1998. Natural History Notes: Ambystoma ca/iforniense (Central California tiger salamander). Survey technique. Herpetological Review 29:96

  6. Environmental Assessment: Invasive Pest Plant Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    Silvilagus floridanus Amphibians Eastern newt Notophthalmus viridescens Spotted salamander Ambystoma maculatum Two-lined salamander Eurycea...Annual EnQeron annuus c A Geranium. Carolina Geranium carotinia.num - c WA!B Geranium, Cranesbill Geranium maculatum c c WA!B Ground 01erry...Physalis heterophyffa c p Hemlock, Poison Conium macula/urn c 6 B Hen bit Lamium amplexicau/e c 3 WA/B Hoary Cress Cardarfa spp. c p Houndstongue

  7. Activation of germline-specific genes is required for limb regeneration in the Mexican axolotl

    OpenAIRE

    Zhu, Wei; Pao, Gerald M; Satoh, Akira; Cummings, Gillian; Monaghan, James R; Harkins, Timothy T; Bryant, Susan V; Voss, S Randal; Gardiner, David M; Hunter, Tony

    2012-01-01

    The capacity for tissue and organ regeneration in humans is dwarfed by comparison to that of salamanders. Emerging evidence suggests that mechanisms learned from the early phase of salamander limb regeneration-wound healing, cellular dedifferentiation and blastemal formation-will reveal therapeutic approaches for tissue regeneration in humans. Here we describe a unique transcriptional fingerprint of regenerating limb tissue in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) that is indicative of ce...

  8. Ecological equivalency as a tool for endangered species management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Searcy, Christopher A; Rollins, Hilary B; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2016-01-01

    The use of taxon substitutes for extinct or endangered species is a controversial conservation measure. We use the example of the endangered California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense; CTS), which is being replaced by hybrids with the invasive barred tiger salamander (Ambystoma mavortium), to illustrate a strategy for evaluating taxon substitutes based on their position in a multivariate community space. Approximately one-quarter of CTS's range is currently occupied by "full hybrids" with 70% nonnative genes, while another one-quarter is occupied by "superinvasives" where a specific set of 3/68 genes comprising 4% of the surveyed genome is nonnative. Based on previous surveys of natural CTS breeding ponds, we stocked experimental mesocosms with field-verified, realistic densities of tiger salamander larvae and their prey, and used these mesocosms to evaluate ecological equivalency between pure CTS, full hybrids, and superinvasives in experimental pond communities. We also included a fourth treatment with no salamanders present to evaluate the community effects of eliminating Ambystoma larvae altogether. We found that pure CTS and superinvasive larvae were ecologically equivalent, because their positions in the multivariate community space were statistically indistinguishable and they did not differ significantly along any univariate community axes. Full hybrids were ecologically similar, but not equivalent, to the other two genotypes, and the no-Ambystoma treatment was by far the most divergent. We conclude that, at least for the larval stage, superinvasives are adequate taxon substitutes for pure CTS and should probably be afforded protection under the Endangered Species Act. The proper conservation status for full hybrids remains debatable.

  9. Genomics of a Metamorphic Timing QTL: met1 Maps to a Unique Genomic Position and Regulates Morph and Species-Specific Patterns of Brain Transcription

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, Robert B.; Boley, Meredith A.; Kump, David K.; Voss, Stephen R.

    2013-01-01

    Very little is known about genetic factors that regulate life history transitions during ontogeny. Closely related tiger salamanders (Ambystoma species complex) show extreme variation in metamorphic timing, with some species foregoing metamorphosis altogether, an adaptive trait called paedomorphosis. Previous studies identified a major effect quantitative trait locus (met1) for metamorphic timing and expression of paedomorphosis in hybrid crosses between the biphasic Eastern tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum) and the paedomorphic Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). We used existing hybrid mapping panels and a newly created hybrid cross to map the met1 genomic region and determine the effect of met1 on larval growth, metamorphic timing, and gene expression in the brain. We show that met1 maps to the position of a urodele-specific chromosome rearrangement on linkage group 2 that uniquely brought functionally associated genes into linkage. Furthermore, we found that more than 200 genes were differentially expressed during larval development as a function of met1 genotype. This list of differentially expressed genes is enriched for proteins that function in the mitochondria, providing evidence of a link between met1, thyroid hormone signaling, and mitochondrial energetics associated with metamorphosis. Finally, we found that met1 significantly affected metamorphic timing in hybrids, but not early larval growth rate. Collectively, our results show that met1 regulates species and morph-specific patterns of brain transcription and life history variation. PMID:23946331

  10. Ion transport by the amphibian primary ureter

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møbjerg, Nadja

    2008-01-01

    putative ion transport mechanisms in the primary ureter of the freshwater amphibian Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl). Primary ureters isolated from axolotl larvae were perfused in vitro and single cells were impaled across the basal cell membrane with glass microelectrodes. In 42 cells the membrane potential......+] steps from 3 to 20 mmol/l and a hyperpolarization of Vm upon lowering [Na+] from 102 to 2 mmol/l, indicating the presence of luminal K+ and Na+ conductances. This study provides the first functional data on the vertebrate primary ureter. The data show that the primary ureter of axolotl larvae...

  11. Predicted Changes in Climatic Niche and Climate Refugia of Conservation Priority Salamander Species in the Northeastern United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William B. Sutton

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Global climate change represents one of the most extensive and pervasive threats to wildlife populations. Amphibians, specifically salamanders, are particularly susceptible to the effects of changing climates due to their restrictive physiological requirements and low vagility; however, little is known about which landscapes and species are vulnerable to climate change. Our study objectives included, (1 evaluating species-specific predictions (based on 2050 climate projections and vulnerabilities to climate change and (2 using collective species responses to identify areas of climate refugia for conservation priority salamanders in the northeastern United States. All evaluated salamander species were projected to lose a portion of their climatic niche. Averaged projected losses ranged from 3%–100% for individual species, with the Cow Knob Salamander (Plethodon punctatus, Cheat Mountain Salamander (Plethodon nettingi, Shenandoah Mountain Salamander (Plethodon virginia, Mabee’s Salamander (Ambystoma mabeei, and Streamside Salamander (Ambystoma barbouri predicted to lose at least 97% of their landscape-scale climatic niche. The Western Allegheny Plateau was predicted to lose the greatest salamander climate refugia richness (i.e., number of species with a climatically-suitable niche in a landscape patch, whereas the Central Appalachians provided refugia for the greatest number of species during current and projected climate scenarios. Our results can be used to identify species and landscapes that are likely to be further affected by climate change and potentially resilient habitats that will provide consistent climatic conditions in the face of environmental change.

  12. The use of artificial impoundments by two amphibian species in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Julian, J.T.; Snyder, C.D.; Young, J.A.

    2006-01-01

    We compared breeding activity of Ambystoma maculatum (Spotted Salamander) and Rana sylvatica (Wood Frog) in artificial impoundments to patterns in natural wetlands over a three-year period in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Rana sylvatica were 5.6 times more likely to use natural bodies of water for breeding than artificial impoundments, while A. maculatum were 2.7 times more likely to use natural bodies of water. Both species were approximately 9 times more likely to breed in fishless bodies of water than in waters with predatory fish. Ambystoma maculatum were 6 times more likely to breed in wetlands with more stable seasonal hydroperiods, while R. sylvatica were only 2 times more likely to do so. We conclude that the high likelihood of fish presence in impoundments was the primary explanation for why both species were less likely to use impoundments than natural wetlands, while the tendency of A. maculatum to avoid natural wetlands with shorter hydroperiods explained why differences in use between pond types was more pronounced for R. sylvatica.

  13. Radioautographic investigation of retinal growth in mature amphibians

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Svistunov, S.A.; Mitashov, V.I.

    1986-01-01

    Growth of the retina was studied in mature intact amphibians, tritons, axolotls, ambystomas and clawed frogs, for six months using multiple injection of 3 H-thymidine. It was established that the source of replenishment of the retina by new cells is its terminal zone in all animals investigated. This is attested to by the gradual migration of labeled cells from the growth zone into differentiated layers of the retina. The most intensely labeled cells occupy a distal position relative to other labeled cells, therefore marking the boundary between the initial part of the retina, not containing labeled nuclei, and the part being augmented. For each species studied, a level of proliferative activity is characteristic for cells of the terminal zone, which decreases in the order axolotl-clawed frog-triton -ambystoma. In the axolotl and additional growth zone is noted in the retina, in addition to the terminal, which is located in the area of the unclosed section of the embryonic fissure. Results obtained serve as a basis for the regenerative potentials of eye tissues revealed previously in these amphibian species

  14. Extinction debt as a driver of amphibian declines: An example with imperiled flatwoods salamanders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semiltsch, Raymond D; Walls, Susan; Barichivich, William J.; O'Donnell, Katherine

    2017-01-01

    A comprehensive view of population declines and their underlying causes is necessary to reverse species loss. Historically, in many cases, a narrow view may have allowed species declines to continue, virtually undetected, for long periods of time (perhaps even decades). We suggest that extinction debt is likely responsible for numerous (perhaps most) amphibian declines and that this perspective should be incorporated into the structure of amphibian research and management. Extinction debt, originally proposed to explain changes in species richness following environmental disturbance, also may refer to the proportion of populations of an individual species that is expected to eventually be lost because of habitat change. A conservation framework to address extinction debt focuses research on threats at the individual, population, and metapopulation levels. This approach will help enhance, restore, and protect specific processes and habitats at the proper scale by directing management to the most vulnerable level and stage of a species. We illustrate this approach using Flatwoods Salamanders, Ambystoma cingulatumand Ambystoma bishopi, which occurred historically throughout the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States but have experienced a greater than 85% loss of populations in recent years. Reversal of these losses is possible only if conservation and recovery efforts encompass individual, population, and metapopulation levels. We illustrate our framework by outlining actions that could be taken at each of these levels to help guide conservation and management of amphibians with complex life cycles and provide options for how to prioritize conservation actions in the face of logistical and budgetary shortfalls.

  15. Toxicity of road salt to Nova Scotia amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Sara J; Russell, Ronald W

    2009-01-01

    The deposition of chemical pollutants into roadside wetlands from runoff is a current environmental concern. In northern latitudes, a major pollutant in runoff water is salt (NaCl), used as de-icing agents. In this study, 26 roadside ponds were surveyed for amphibian species richness and chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests (LC(50)) were performed on five locally common amphibian species using a range of environmentally significant NaCl concentrations. Field surveys indicated that spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) and wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) did not occupy high chloride ponds. American toads (Bufo americanus) showed no pond preference based on chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests showed spotted salamanders and wood frogs were most sensitive to chloride, and American toads were the least. Spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) and green frogs (Rana clamitans) showed intermediate sensitivities. We concluded that chloride concentrations in ponds due to application of de-icing salts, influenced community structure by excluding salt intolerant species.

  16. Comparative Analysis of Cartilage Marker Gene Expression Patterns during Axolotl and Xenopus Limb Regeneration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazumasa Mitogawa

    Full Text Available Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum can completely regenerate lost limbs, whereas Xenopus laevis frogs cannot. During limb regeneration, a blastema is first formed at the amputation plane. It is thought that this regeneration blastema forms a limb by mechanisms similar to those of a developing embryonic limb bud. Furthermore, Xenopus laevis frogs can form a blastema after amputation; however, the blastema results in a terminal cone-shaped cartilaginous structure called a "spike." The causes of this patterning defect in Xenopus frog limb regeneration were explored. We hypothesized that differences in chondrogenesis may underlie the patterning defect. Thus, we focused on chondrogenesis. Chondrogenesis marker genes, type I and type II collagen, were compared in regenerative and nonregenerative environments. There were marked differences between axolotls and Xenopus in the expression pattern of these chondrogenesis-associated genes. The relative deficit in the chondrogenic capacity of Xenopus blastema cells may account for the absence of total limb regenerative capacity.

  17. Propofol (2,6-diisopropylphenol) is an applicable immersion anesthetic in the axolotl with potential uses in hemodynamic and neurophysiological experiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thygesen, Mathias; Rasmussen, Mikkel Mylius; Madsen, Jesper Guldsmed

    2017-01-01

    The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is an important model species in regenerative biology. Traditionally, axolotls are anesthetized using benzocaine or MS-222, both of which act to inhibit voltage gated sodium channels thereby preventing action potential propagation. In some...... neurophysiological experiments this is not desirable; therefore we tested propofol as an alternative anesthetic in the axolotl. We evaluated benzocaine, MS-222, and propofol's cardiovascular effects, effects on action potential propagation in the spinal cord, and gross limb regenerative effects. We found...... that propofol is applicable as a general anesthetic in the axolotl allowing for neurophysiological experiments and yielding a stable anesthesia with significantly less cardiovascular effect than both benzocaine and MS-222. Additionally, propofol did not affect gross limb regeneration. In conclusion we suggest...

  18. Germline Transgenic Methods for Tracking Cells and Testing Gene Function during Regeneration in the Axolotl

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khattak, Shahryar; Schuez, Maritta; Richter, Tobias; Knapp, Dunja; Haigo, Saori L.; Sandoval-Guzmán, Tatiana; Hradlikova, Kristyna; Duemmler, Annett; Kerney, Ryan; Tanaka, Elly M.

    2013-01-01

    The salamander is the only tetrapod that regenerates complex body structures throughout life. Deciphering the underlying molecular processes of regeneration is fundamental for regenerative medicine and developmental biology, but the model organism had limited tools for molecular analysis. We describe a comprehensive set of germline transgenic strains in the laboratory-bred salamander Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl) that open up the cellular and molecular genetic dissection of regeneration. We demonstrate tissue-dependent control of gene expression in nerve, Schwann cells, oligodendrocytes, muscle, epidermis, and cartilage. Furthermore, we demonstrate the use of tamoxifen-induced Cre/loxP-mediated recombination to indelibly mark different cell types. Finally, we inducibly overexpress the cell-cycle inhibitor p16INK4a, which negatively regulates spinal cord regeneration. These tissue-specific germline axolotl lines and tightly inducible Cre drivers and LoxP reporter lines render this classical regeneration model molecularly accessible. PMID:24052945

  19. Responses of Mammalian Insectivores, Amphibians, and Reptiles to Broad-Scale Manipulation of Coarse Woody Debris

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCay, T.S.; Forschler, B.T.; Komoroski, M.J.; Ford, W.M.

    2002-03-10

    Sampled shrews at 9.3 ha plots from logs manually removed and control plots in loblolly pine forests of the Southeastern Coastal Plain. Capture rates of Cryptotis parva were lower at plots from which deadwood was removed whereas capture rates of Blarina cavolinensis and Sorex longirostris did not differ between control and removal plots. Cryptotis may have been most sensitive to removal plots due to low population density, hence poor ability to move into areas of low reproduction. (Second Abstract, p. 37)Presentation of evidence that juvenile amphibians including Ambystomatid salamanders may disperse hundreds of meter from their natal wetlands within the weeks to months following metamorphosis. Data indicates Ambystoma trigrinum metamorphs can take at least six months to disperse and en route use non-polar lipid reserves garnished as larvae. Report suggests a land management regime that allows for both juvenile amphibian dispersal and also the consumptive use of the surrounding landscape.

  20. Ambient ultraviolet radiation causes mortality in salamander eggs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blaustein, A.R.; Edmond, B.; Kiesecker, J.M.

    1995-01-01

    Previous research has shown that amphibian species have differential sensitivity to ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation. In some anuran species, ambient levels of UV-B cause mortality in embryonic stages and hatching success is significantly reduced. Projected increases in UV-B may affect an increasing number of species. The adverse effects of UV-B may eventually be manifested at the population level and may ultimately contribute to population declines. Using field experiments, we investigated the effects of ambient UV-B on salamander (Ambystoma gracile) embryos developing at natural oviposition sites. We show that the hatching success of eggs of A. gracile shielded from UV-B is significantly higher than those not shielded from UV-B. 27 refs., 1 fig

  1. From biomedicine to natural history research: EST resources for ambystomatid salamanders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryant Susan V

    2004-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Establishing genomic resources for closely related species will provide comparative insights that are crucial for understanding diversity and variability at multiple levels of biological organization. We developed ESTs for Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum and Eastern tiger salamander (A. tigrinum tigrinum, species with deep and diverse research histories. Results Approximately 40,000 quality cDNA sequences were isolated for these species from various tissues, including regenerating limb and tail. These sequences and an existing set of 16,030 cDNA sequences for A. mexicanum were processed to yield 35,413 and 20,599 high quality ESTs for A. mexicanum and A. t. tigrinum, respectively. Because the A. t. tigrinum ESTs were obtained primarily from a normalized library, an approximately equal number of contigs were obtained for each species, with 21,091 unique contigs identified overall. The 10,592 contigs that showed significant similarity to sequences from the human RefSeq database reflected a diverse array of molecular functions and biological processes, with many corresponding to genes expressed during spinal cord injury in rat and fin regeneration in zebrafish. To demonstrate the utility of these EST resources, we searched databases to identify probes for regeneration research, characterized intra- and interspecific nucleotide polymorphism, saturated a human – Ambystoma synteny group with marker loci, and extended PCR primer sets designed for A. mexicanum / A. t. tigrinum orthologues to a related tiger salamander species. Conclusions Our study highlights the value of developing resources in traditional model systems where the likelihood of information transfer to multiple, closely related taxa is high, thus simultaneously enabling both laboratory and natural history research.

  2. From biomedicine to natural history research: EST resources for ambystomatid salamanders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putta, Srikrishna; Smith, Jeramiah J; Walker, John A; Rondet, Mathieu; Weisrock, David W; Monaghan, James; Samuels, Amy K; Kump, Kevin; King, David C; Maness, Nicholas J; Habermann, Bianca; Tanaka, Elly; Bryant, Susan V; Gardiner, David M; Parichy, David M; Voss, S Randal

    2004-01-01

    Background Establishing genomic resources for closely related species will provide comparative insights that are crucial for understanding diversity and variability at multiple levels of biological organization. We developed ESTs for Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) and Eastern tiger salamander (A. tigrinum tigrinum), species with deep and diverse research histories. Results Approximately 40,000 quality cDNA sequences were isolated for these species from various tissues, including regenerating limb and tail. These sequences and an existing set of 16,030 cDNA sequences for A. mexicanum were processed to yield 35,413 and 20,599 high quality ESTs for A. mexicanum and A. t. tigrinum, respectively. Because the A. t. tigrinum ESTs were obtained primarily from a normalized library, an approximately equal number of contigs were obtained for each species, with 21,091 unique contigs identified overall. The 10,592 contigs that showed significant similarity to sequences from the human RefSeq database reflected a diverse array of molecular functions and biological processes, with many corresponding to genes expressed during spinal cord injury in rat and fin regeneration in zebrafish. To demonstrate the utility of these EST resources, we searched databases to identify probes for regeneration research, characterized intra- and interspecific nucleotide polymorphism, saturated a human – Ambystoma synteny group with marker loci, and extended PCR primer sets designed for A. mexicanum / A. t. tigrinum orthologues to a related tiger salamander species. Conclusions Our study highlights the value of developing resources in traditional model systems where the likelihood of information transfer to multiple, closely related taxa is high, thus simultaneously enabling both laboratory and natural history research. PMID:15310388

  3. Genetic and genomic interactions of animals with different ploidy levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogart, J P; Bi, K

    2013-01-01

    Polyploid animals have independently evolved from diploids in diverse taxa across the tree of life. We review a few polyploid animal species or biotypes where recently developed molecular and cytogenetic methods have significantly improved our understanding of their genetics, reproduction and evolution. Mitochondrial sequences that target the maternal ancestor of a polyploid show that polyploids may have single (e.g. unisexual salamanders in the genus Ambystoma) or multiple (e.g. parthenogenetic polyploid lizards in the genus Aspidoscelis) origins. Microsatellites are nuclear markers that can be used to analyze genetic recombinations, reproductive modes (e.g. Ambystoma) and recombination events (e.g. polyploid frogs such as Pelophylax esculentus). Hom(e)ologous chromosomes and rare intergenomic exchanges in allopolyploids have been distinguished by applying genome-specific fluorescent probes to chromosome spreads. Polyploids arise, and are maintained, through perturbations of the 'normal' meiotic program that would include pre-meiotic chromosome replication and genomic integrity of homologs. When possible, asexual, unisexual and bisexual polyploid species or biotypes interact with diploid relatives, and genes are passed from diploid to polyploid gene pools, which increase genetic diversity and ultimately evolutionary flexibility in the polyploid. When diploid relatives do not exist, polyploids can interact with another polyploid (e.g. species of African Clawed Frogs in the genus Xenopus). Some polyploid fish (e.g. salmonids) and frogs (Xenopus) represent independent lineages whose ancestors experienced whole genome duplication events. Some tetraploid frogs (P. esculentus) and fish (Squaliusalburnoides) may be in the process of becoming independent species, but diploid and triploid forms of these 'species' continue to genetically interact with the comparatively few tetraploid populations. Genetic and genomic interaction between polyploids and diploids is a complex

  4. Non-native salmonids affect amphibian occupancy at multiple spatial scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilliod, David S.; Hossack, Blake R.; Bahls, Peter F.; Bull, Evelyn L.; Corn, Paul Stephen; Hokit, Grant; Maxell, Bryce A.; Munger, James C.; Wyrick, Aimee

    2010-01-01

    Aim The introduction of non-native species into aquatic environments has been linked with local extinctions and altered distributions of native species. We investigated the effect of non-native salmonids on the occupancy of two native amphibians, the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris), across three spatial scales: water bodies, small catchments and large catchments. Location Mountain lakes at ≥ 1500 m elevation were surveyed across the northern Rocky Mountains, USA. Methods We surveyed 2267 water bodies for amphibian occupancy (based on evidence of reproduction) and fish presence between 1986 and 2002 and modelled the probability of amphibian occupancy at each spatial scale in relation to habitat availability and quality and fish presence. Results After accounting for habitat features, we estimated that A. macrodactylum was 2.3 times more likely to breed in fishless water bodies than in water bodies with fish. Ambystoma macrodactylum also was more likely to occupy small catchments where none of the water bodies contained fish than in catchments where at least one water body contained fish. However, the probability of salamander occupancy in small catchments was also influenced by habitat availability (i.e. the number of water bodies within a catchment) and suitability of remaining fishless water bodies. We found no relationship between fish presence and salamander occupancy at the large-catchment scale, probably because of increased habitat availability. In contrast to A. macrodactylum, we found no relationship between fish presence and R. luteiventris occupancy at any scale. Main conclusions Our results suggest that the negative effects of non-native salmonids can extend beyond the boundaries of individual water bodies and increase A. macrodactylum extinction risk at landscape scales. We suspect that niche overlap between non-native fish and A. macrodactylum at higher elevations in the northern Rocky

  5. Assessment of environmental DNA for detecting presence of imperiled aquatic amphibian species in isolated wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mckee, Anna; Calhoun, Daniel L.; Barichivich, William J.; Spear, Stephen F.; Goldberg, Caren S.; Glenn, Travis C

    2015-01-01

    Environmental DNA (eDNA) is an emerging tool that allows low-impact sampling for aquatic species by isolating DNA from water samples and screening for DNA sequences specific to species of interest. However, researchers have not tested this method in naturally acidic wetlands that provide breeding habitat for a number of imperiled species, including the frosted salamander (Ambystoma cingulatum), reticulated flatwoods salamanders (Ambystoma bishopi), striped newt (Notophthalmus perstriatus), and gopher frog (Lithobates capito). Our objectives for this study were to develop and optimize eDNA survey protocols and assays to complement and enhance capture-based survey methods for these amphibian species. We collected three or more water samples, dipnetted or trapped larval and adult amphibians, and conducted visual encounter surveys for egg masses for target species at 40 sites on 12 different longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) tracts. We used quantitative PCRs to screen eDNA from each site for target species presence. We detected flatwoods salamanders at three sites with eDNA but did not detect them during physical surveys. Based on the sample location we assumed these eDNA detections to indicate the presence of frosted flatwoods salamanders. We did not detect reticulated flatwoods salamanders. We detected striped newts with physical and eDNA surveys at two wetlands. We detected gopher frogs at 12 sites total, three with eDNA alone, two with physical surveys alone, and seven with physical and eDNA surveys. We detected our target species with eDNA at 9 of 11 sites where they were present as indicated from traditional surveys and at six sites where they were not detected with traditional surveys. It was, however, critical to use at least three water samples per site for eDNA. Our results demonstrate eDNA surveys can be a useful complement to traditional survey methods for detecting imperiled pond-breeding amphibians. Environmental DNA may be particularly useful in situations

  6. Transcriptional and phylogenetic analysis of five complete ambystomatid salamander mitochondrial genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuels, Amy K; Weisrock, David W; Smith, Jeramiah J; France, Katherine J; Walker, John A; Putta, Srikrishna; Voss, S Randal

    2005-04-11

    We report on a study that extended mitochondrial transcript information from a recent EST project to obtain complete mitochondrial genome sequence for 5 tiger salamander complex species (Ambystoma mexicanum, A. t. tigrinum, A. andersoni, A. californiense, and A. dumerilii). We describe, for the first time, aspects of mitochondrial transcription in a representative amphibian, and then use complete mitochondrial sequence data to examine salamander phylogeny at both deep and shallow levels of evolutionary divergence. The available mitochondrial ESTs for A. mexicanum (N=2481) and A. t. tigrinum (N=1205) provided 92% and 87% coverage of the mitochondrial genome, respectively. Complete mitochondrial sequences for all species were rapidly obtained by using long distance PCR and DNA sequencing. A number of genome structural characteristics (base pair length, base composition, gene number, gene boundaries, codon usage) were highly similar among all species and to other distantly related salamanders. Overall, mitochondrial transcription in Ambystoma approximated the pattern observed in other vertebrates. We inferred from the mapping of ESTs onto mtDNA that transcription occurs from both heavy and light strand promoters and continues around the entire length of the mtDNA, followed by post-transcriptional processing. However, the observation of many short transcripts corresponding to rRNA genes indicates that transcription may often terminate prematurely to bias transcription of rRNA genes; indeed an rRNA transcription termination signal sequence was observed immediately following the 16S rRNA gene. Phylogenetic analyses of salamander family relationships consistently grouped Ambystomatidae in a clade containing Cryptobranchidae and Hynobiidae, to the exclusion of Salamandridae. This robust result suggests a novel alternative hypothesis because previous studies have consistently identified Ambystomatidae and Salamandridae as closely related taxa. Phylogenetic analyses of tiger

  7. Microarray analysis of a salamander hopeful monster reveals transcriptional signatures of paedomorphic brain development

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is considered a hopeful monster because it exhibits an adaptive and derived mode of development - paedomorphosis - that has evolved rapidly and independently among tiger salamanders. Unlike related tiger salamanders that undergo metamorphosis, axolotls retain larval morphological traits into adulthood and thus present an adult body plan that differs dramatically from the ancestral (metamorphic) form. The basis of paedomorphic development was investigated by comparing temporal patterns of gene transcription between axolotl and tiger salamander larvae (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum) that typically undergo a metamorphosis. Results Transcript abundances from whole brain and pituitary were estimated via microarray analysis on four different days post hatching (42, 56, 70, 84 dph) and regression modeling was used to independently identify genes that were differentially expressed as a function of time in both species. Collectively, more differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified as unique to the axolotl (n = 76) and tiger salamander (n = 292) than were identified as shared (n = 108). All but two of the shared DEGs exhibited the same temporal pattern of expression and the unique genes tended to show greater changes later in the larval period when tiger salamander larvae were undergoing anatomical metamorphosis. A second, complementary analysis that directly compared the expression of 1320 genes between the species identified 409 genes that differed as a function of species or the interaction between time and species. Of these 409 DEGs, 84% exhibited higher abundances in tiger salamander larvae at all sampling times. Conclusions Many of the unique tiger salamander transcriptional responses are probably associated with metamorphic biological processes. However, the axolotl also showed unique patterns of transcription early in development. In particular, the axolotl showed a genome-wide reduction in mRNA abundance

  8. Microarray analysis of a salamander hopeful monster reveals transcriptional signatures of paedomorphic brain development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Putta Srikrishna

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum is considered a hopeful monster because it exhibits an adaptive and derived mode of development - paedomorphosis - that has evolved rapidly and independently among tiger salamanders. Unlike related tiger salamanders that undergo metamorphosis, axolotls retain larval morphological traits into adulthood and thus present an adult body plan that differs dramatically from the ancestral (metamorphic form. The basis of paedomorphic development was investigated by comparing temporal patterns of gene transcription between axolotl and tiger salamander larvae (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum that typically undergo a metamorphosis. Results Transcript abundances from whole brain and pituitary were estimated via microarray analysis on four different days post hatching (42, 56, 70, 84 dph and regression modeling was used to independently identify genes that were differentially expressed as a function of time in both species. Collectively, more differentially expressed genes (DEGs were identified as unique to the axolotl (n = 76 and tiger salamander (n = 292 than were identified as shared (n = 108. All but two of the shared DEGs exhibited the same temporal pattern of expression and the unique genes tended to show greater changes later in the larval period when tiger salamander larvae were undergoing anatomical metamorphosis. A second, complementary analysis that directly compared the expression of 1320 genes between the species identified 409 genes that differed as a function of species or the interaction between time and species. Of these 409 DEGs, 84% exhibited higher abundances in tiger salamander larvae at all sampling times. Conclusions Many of the unique tiger salamander transcriptional responses are probably associated with metamorphic biological processes. However, the axolotl also showed unique patterns of transcription early in development. In particular, the axolotl showed a genome

  9. Cannibalistic-morph Tiger Salamanders in unexpected ecological contexts

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLean, Kyle I.; Stockwell, Craig A.; Mushet, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Barred tiger salamanders [Ambystoma mavortium (Baird, 1850)] exhibit two trophic morphologies; a typical and a cannibalistic morph. Cannibalistic morphs, distinguished by enlarged vomerine teeth, wide heads, slender bodies, and cannibalistic tendencies, are often found where conspecifics occur at high density. During 2012 and 2013, 162 North Dakota wetlands and lakes were sampled for salamanders. Fifty-one contained A. mavortium populations; four of these contained cannibalistic morph individuals. Two populations with cannibalistic morphs occurred at sites with high abundances of conspecifics. However, the other two populations occurred at sites with unexpectedly low conspecific but high fathead minnow [Pimephales promelas (Rafinesque, 1820)] abundances. Further, no typical morphs were observed in either of these later two populations, contrasting with earlier research suggesting cannibalistic morphs only occur at low frequencies in salamander populations. Another anomaly of all four populations was the occurrence of cannibalistic morphs in permanent water sites, suggesting their presence was due to factors other than faster growth allowing them to occupy ephemeral habitats. Therefore, our findings suggest environmental factors inducing the cannibalistic morphism may be more complex than previously thought.

  10. Road deicing salt irreversibly disrupts osmoregulation of salamander egg clutches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karraker, Nancy E.; Gibbs, James P.

    2011-01-01

    It has been postulated that road deicing salts are sufficiently diluted by spring rains to ameliorate any physiological impacts to amphibians breeding in wetlands near roads. We tested this conjecture by exposing clutches of the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) to three chloride concentrations (1 mg/L, 145 mg/L, 945 mg/L) for nine days, then transferred clutches to control water for nine days, and measured change in mass at three-day intervals. We measured mass change because water uptake by clutches reduces risks to embryos associated with freezing, predation, and disease. Clutches in controls sequestered water asymptotically. Those in the moderate concentrations lost 18% mass initially and regained 14% after transfer to control water. Clutches in high concentration lost 33% mass and then lost an additional 8% after transfer. Our results suggest that spring rains do not ameliorate the effects of deicing salts in wetlands with extremely high chloride concentrations. - Road deicing salts irreversibly disrupts osmoregulation of salamander egg clutches.

  11. Road deicing salt irreversibly disrupts osmoregulation of salamander egg clutches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karraker, Nancy E; Gibbs, James P

    2011-03-01

    It has been postulated that road deicing salts are sufficiently diluted by spring rains to ameliorate any physiological impacts to amphibians breeding in wetlands near roads. We tested this conjecture by exposing clutches of the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) to three chloride concentrations (1 mg/L, 145 mg/L, 945 mg/L) for nine days, then transferred clutches to control water for nine days, and measured change in mass at three-day intervals. We measured mass change because water uptake by clutches reduces risks to embryos associated with freezing, predation, and disease. Clutches in controls sequestered water asymptotically. Those in the moderate concentrations lost 18% mass initially and regained 14% after transfer to control water. Clutches in high concentration lost 33% mass and then lost an additional 8% after transfer. Our results suggest that spring rains do not ameliorate the effects of deicing salts in wetlands with extremely high chloride concentrations. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Comparative and phylogenetic perspectives of the cleavage process in tailed amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desnitskiy, Alexey G; Litvinchuk, Spartak N

    2015-10-01

    The order Caudata includes about 660 species and displays a variety of important developmental traits such as cleavage pattern and egg size. However, the cleavage process of tailed amphibians has never been analyzed within a phylogenetic framework. We use published data on the embryos of 36 species concerning the character of the third cleavage furrow (latitudinal, longitudinal or variable) and the magnitude of synchronous cleavage period (up to 3-4 synchronous cell divisions in the animal hemisphere or a considerably longer series of synchronous divisions followed by midblastula transition). Several species from basal caudate families Cryptobranchidae (Andrias davidianus and Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) and Hynobiidae (Onychodactylus japonicus) as well as several representatives from derived families Plethodontidae (Desmognathus fuscus and Ensatina eschscholtzii) and Proteidae (Necturus maculosus) are characterized by longitudinal furrows of the third cleavage and the loss of synchrony as early as the 8-cell stage. By contrast, many representatives of derived families Ambystomatidae and Salamandridae have latitudinal furrows of the third cleavage and extensive period of synchronous divisions. Our analysis of these ontogenetic characters mapped onto a phylogenetic tree shows that the cleavage pattern of large, yolky eggs with short series of synchronous divisions is an ancestral trait for the tailed amphibians, while the data on the orientation of third cleavage furrows seem to be ambiguous with respect to phylogeny. Nevertheless, the midblastula transition, which is characteristic of the model species Ambystoma mexicanum (Caudata) and Xenopus laevis (Anura), might have evolved convergently in these two amphibian orders.

  13. Drought, deluge and declines: the impact of precipitation extremes on amphibians in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walls, Susan C.; Barichivich, William J.; Brown, Mary E.

    2013-01-01

    The Class Amphibia is one of the most severely impacted taxa in an on-going global biodiversity crisis. Because amphibian reproduction is tightly associated with the presence of water, climatic changes that affect water availability pose a particularly menacing threat to both aquatic and terrestrial-breeding amphibians. We explore the impacts that one facet of climate change—that of extreme variation in precipitation—may have on amphibians. This variation is manifested principally as increases in the incidence and severity of both drought and major storm events. We stress the need to consider not only total precipitation amounts but also the pattern and timing of rainfall events. Such rainfall “pulses” are likely to become increasingly more influential on amphibians, especially in relation to seasonal reproduction. Changes in reproductive phenology can strongly influence the outcome of competitive and predatory interactions, thus potentially altering community dynamics in assemblages of co-existing species. We present a conceptual model to illustrate possible landscape and metapopulation consequences of alternative climate change scenarios for pond-breeding amphibians, using the Mole Salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum, as an example. Although amphibians have evolved a variety of life history strategies that enable them to cope with environmental uncertainty, it is unclear whether adaptations can keep pace with the escalating rate of climate change. Climate change, especially in combination with other stressors, is a daunting challenge for the persistence of amphibians and, thus, the conservation of global biodiversity.

  14. Comparative and developmental patterns of amphibious auditory function in salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeyl, Jeffrey N; Johnston, Carol E

    2016-12-01

    Early amphibious tetrapods may have detected aquatic sound pressure using sound-induced lung vibrations, but their lack of tympanic middle ears would have restricted aerial sensitivity. Sharing these characteristics, salamanders could be models for the carryover of auditory function across an aquatic-terrestrial boundary without tympanic middle ears. We measured amphibious auditory evoked potential audiograms in five phylogenetically and ecologically distinct salamanders (Amphiuma means, Notophthalmus viridescens, Ambystoma talpoideum, Eurycea spp., and Plethodon glutinosus) and tested whether metamorphosis and terrestrial niche were linked to aerial sensitivity. Threshold differences between media varied between species. A. means' relative aerial sensitivity was greatest at 100 Hz and decreased with increasing frequency. In contrast, all other salamanders retained greater sensitivity up to 500 Hz, and in A. talpoideum and Eurycea, relative sensitivity at 500 Hz was higher than at 100 Hz. Aerial thresholds of terrestrial P. glutinosus above 200 Hz were similar to A. talpoideum and Eurycea, but lower than N. viridescens and A. means. Metamorphosis did not affect aerial sensitivity in N. viridescens or A. talpoideum. These results fail to support a hypothesis of terrestrial hearing specialization across ontogeny or phylogeny. We discuss methodological limitations to our amphibious comparisons and factors affecting variation in amphibious performance.

  15. Road deicing salt irreversibly disrupts osmoregulation of salamander egg clutches

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karraker, Nancy E., E-mail: karraker@hku.hk [Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210 (United States); Gibbs, James P [Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210 (United States)

    2011-03-15

    It has been postulated that road deicing salts are sufficiently diluted by spring rains to ameliorate any physiological impacts to amphibians breeding in wetlands near roads. We tested this conjecture by exposing clutches of the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) to three chloride concentrations (1 mg/L, 145 mg/L, 945 mg/L) for nine days, then transferred clutches to control water for nine days, and measured change in mass at three-day intervals. We measured mass change because water uptake by clutches reduces risks to embryos associated with freezing, predation, and disease. Clutches in controls sequestered water asymptotically. Those in the moderate concentrations lost 18% mass initially and regained 14% after transfer to control water. Clutches in high concentration lost 33% mass and then lost an additional 8% after transfer. Our results suggest that spring rains do not ameliorate the effects of deicing salts in wetlands with extremely high chloride concentrations. - Road deicing salts irreversibly disrupts osmoregulation of salamander egg clutches.

  16. Temperature-mediated changes in rates of predator forgetting in woodfrog tadpoles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maud C O Ferrari

    Full Text Available Hundreds of studies have investigated the sources and nature of information that prey gather about their predators and the ways in which prey use this information to mediate their risk of predation. However, relatively little theoretical or empirical work has considered the question of how long information should be maintained and used by prey animals in making behavioural decisions. Here, we tested whether the size of the memory window associated with predator recognition could be affected by an intrinsic factor, such as size and growth rate of the prey. We maintained groups of predator-naive woodfrog, Lithobates sylvaticus, tadpoles at different temperatures for 8 days to induce differences in tadpole size. We then conditioned small and large tadpoles to recognize the odour of a predatory tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum. Tadpoles were then maintained either on a high or low growth trajectory for another 8 days, after which they were tested for their response to the predator. Our results suggest that the memory window related to predator recognition of tadpoles is determined by both their size and/or growth rate at the time of learning and their subsequent growth rate post-learning.

  17. Toxicity of road salt to Nova Scotia amphibians

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Collins, Sara J.; Russell, Ronald W.

    2009-01-01

    The deposition of chemical pollutants into roadside wetlands from runoff is a current environmental concern. In northern latitudes, a major pollutant in runoff water is salt (NaCl), used as de-icing agents. In this study, 26 roadside ponds were surveyed for amphibian species richness and chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests (LC 50 ) were performed on five locally common amphibian species using a range of environmentally significant NaCl concentrations. Field surveys indicated that spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) and wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) did not occupy high chloride ponds. American toads (Bufo americanus) showed no pond preference based on chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests showed spotted salamanders and wood frogs were most sensitive to chloride, and American toads were the least. Spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) and green frogs (Rana clamitans) showed intermediate sensitivities. We concluded that chloride concentrations in ponds due to application of de-icing salts, influenced community structure by excluding salt intolerant species. - Salt toxicity is presented as a mechanism affecting the distribution of amphibians and structure of amphibian communities in roadside wetlands

  18. Amphibian embryo and parental defenses and a larval predator reduce egg mortality from water mold.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez-Mestre, Ivan; Touchon, Justin C; Warkentin, Karen M

    2006-10-01

    Water molds attack aquatic eggs worldwide and have been associated with major mortality events in some cases, but typically only in association with additional stressors. We combined field observations and laboratory experiments to study egg stage defenses against pathogenic water mold in three temperate amphibians. Spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) wrap their eggs in a protective jelly layer that prevents mold from reaching the embryos. Wood frog (Rana sylvatica) egg masses have less jelly but are laid while ponds are still cold and mold growth is slow. American toad (Bufo americanus) eggs experience the highest infection levels. They are surrounded by thin jelly and are laid when ponds have warmed and mold grows rapidly. Eggs of all three species hatched early when infected, yielding smaller and less developed hatchlings. This response was strongest in B. americanus. Precocious hatching increased vulnerability of wood frog hatchlings to invertebrate predators. Finally, despite being potential toad hatchling predators, R. sylvatica tadpoles can have a positive effect on B. americanus eggs. They eat water mold off infected toad clutches, increasing their hatching success.

  19. The Husting dilemma: A methodological note

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, J.D.; Hepp, G.R.; Pollock, K.H.; Hines, J.E.

    1987-01-01

    Recently, Gill (1985) discussed the interpretation of capture history data resulting from his own studies on the red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens , and work by Husting (1965) on spotted salamanders, Ambystoma maculatum. Gill (1985) noted that gaps in capture histories (years in which individuals were not captured, preceded and followed by years in which they were) could result from either of two very different possibilities: (1) failure of the animal to return to the fenced pond to breed (the alternative Husting (1965) favored), or (2) return of the animal to the breeding pond, but failure of the investigator to capture it and detect its presence. The authors agree entirely with Gill (1985) that capture history data such as his or those of Husting (1965) should be analyzed using models that recognize the possibility of 'census error,' and that it is important to try to distinguish between such 'error' and skipped breeding efforts. The purpose of this note is to point out the relationship between Gill's (1985:347) null model and certain capture-recapture models, and to use capture-recapture models and tests to analyze the original data of Husting (1965).

  20. A histological atlas of the tissues and organs of neotenic and metamorphosed axolotl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demircan, Turan; İlhan, Ayşe Elif; Aytürk, Nilüfer; Yıldırım, Berna; Öztürk, Gürkan; Keskin, İlknur

    2016-09-01

    Axolotl (Ambystoma Mexicanum) has been emerging as a promising model in stem cell and regeneration researches due to its exceptional regenerative capacity. Although it represents lifelong lasting neoteny, induction to metamorphosis with thyroid hormones (THs) treatment advances the utilization of Axolotl in various studies. It has been reported that amphibians undergo anatomical and histological remodeling during metamorphosis and this transformation is crucial for adaptation to terrestrial conditions. However, there is no comprehensive histological investigation regarding the morphological alterations of Axolotl organs and tissues throughout the metamorphosis. Here, we reveal the histological differences or resemblances between the neotenic and metamorphic axolotl tissues. In order to examine structural features and cellular organization of Axolotl organs, we performed Hematoxylin & Eosin, Luxol-Fast blue, Masson's trichrome, Alcian blue, Orcein and Weigart's staining. Stained samples from brain, gallbladder, heart, intestine, liver, lung, muscle, skin, spleen, stomach, tail, tongue and vessel were analyzed under the light microscope. Our findings contribute to the validation of the link between newly acquired functions and structural changes of tissues and organs as observed in tail, skin, gallbladder and spleen. We believe that this descriptive work provides new insights for a better histological understanding of both neotenic and metamorphic Axolotl tissues. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  1. From "Duck Factory" to "Fish Factory": Climate induced changes in vertebrate communities of prairie pothole wetlands and small lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLean, Kyle I.; Mushet, David M.; Stockwell, Craig A.

    2016-01-01

    The Prairie Pothole Region’s myriad wetlands and small lakes contribute to its stature as the “duck factory” of North America. The fishless nature of the region’s aquatic habitats, a result of frequent drying, freezing, and high salinity, influences its importance to waterfowl. Recent precipitation increases have resulted in higher water levels and wetland/lake freshening. In 2012–13, we sampled chemical characteristics and vertebrates (fish and salamanders) of 162 Prairie Pothole wetlands and small lakes. We used non-metric multidimensional scaling, principal component analysis, and bootstrapping techniques to reveal relationships. We found fish present in a majority of sites (84 %). Fish responses to water chemistry varied by species. Fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) and brook sticklebacks (Culaea inconstans) occurred across the broadest range of conditions. Yellow perch (Perca flavescens) occurred in a smaller, chemically defined, subset. Iowa darters (Etheostoma exile) were restricted to the narrowest range of conditions. Tiger salamanders (Ambystoma mavortium) rarely occurred in lakes with fish. We also compared our chemical data to similar data collected in 1966–1976 to explore factors contributing to the expansion of fish into previously fishless sites. Our work contributes to a better understanding of relationships between aquatic biota and climate-induced changes in this ecologically important area.

  2. Activation of germline-specific genes is required for limb regeneration in the Mexican axolotl

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Wei; Pao, Gerald M; Satoh, Akira; Cummings, Gillian; Monaghan, James R; Harkins, Timothy T; Bryant, Susan V; Voss, S Randal; Gardiner, David M; Hunter, Tony

    2013-01-01

    The capacity for tissue and organ regeneration in humans is dwarfed by comparison to that of salamanders. Emerging evidence suggests that mechanisms learned from the early phase of salamander limb regeneration – wound healing, cellular dedifferentiation and blastemal formation – will reveal therapeutic approaches for tissue regeneration in humans. Here we describe a unique transcriptional fingerprint of regenerating limb tissue in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) that is indicative of cellular reprogramming of differentiated cells to a germline-like state. Two genes that are required for self-renewal of germ cells in mice and flies, Piwi-like 1 (PL1) and Piwi-like 2 (PL2), are expressed in limb blastemal cells, the basal layer keratinocytes and the thickened apical epithelial cap in the wound epidermis in the regenerating limb. Depletion of PL1 and PL2 by morpholino oligonucleotides decreased cell proliferation and increased cell death in the blastema leading to a significant retardation of regeneration. Examination of key molecules that are known to be required for limb development or regeneration further revealed that FGF8 is transcriptionally downregulated in the presence of the morpholino oligos, indicating PL1 and PL2 might participate in FGF signaling during limb regeneration. Given the requirement for FGF signaling in limb development and regeneration, the results suggest that PL1 and PL2 function to establish a unique germline-like state that is associated with successful regeneration. PMID:22841627

  3. Myofibril-Inducing RNA (MIR is essential for tropomyosin expression and myofibrillogenesis in axolotl hearts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lemanski Sharon L

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, carries the naturally-occurring recessive mutant gene 'c' that results in a failure of homozygous (c/c embryos to form hearts that beat because of an absence of organized myofibrils. Our previous studies have shown that a noncoding RNA, Myofibril-Inducing RNA (MIR, is capable of promoting myofibrillogenesis and heart beating in the mutant (c/c axolotls. The present study demonstrates that the MIR gene is essential for tropomyosin (TM expression in axolotl hearts during development. Gene expression studies show that mRNA expression of various tropomyosin isoforms in untreated mutant hearts and in normal hearts knocked down with double-stranded MIR (dsMIR are similar to untreated normal. However, at the protein level, selected tropomyosin isoforms are significantly reduced in mutant and dsMIR treated normal hearts. These results suggest that MIR is involved in controlling the translation or post-translation of various TM isoforms and subsequently of regulating cardiac contractility.

  4. Multi-scale finite element modeling allows the mechanics of amphibian neurulation to be elucidated

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Xiaoguang; Wayne Brodland, G

    2008-01-01

    The novel multi-scale computational approach introduced here makes possible a new means for testing hypotheses about the forces that drive specific morphogenetic movements. A 3D model based on this approach is used to investigate neurulation in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), a type of amphibian. The model is based on geometric data from 3D surface reconstructions of live embryos and from serial sections. Tissue properties are described by a system of cell-based constitutive equations, and parameters in the equations are determined from physical tests. The model includes the effects of Shroom-activated neural ridge reshaping and lamellipodium-driven convergent extension. A typical whole-embryo model consists of 10 239 elements and to run its 100 incremental time steps requires 2 days. The model shows that a normal phenotype does not result if lamellipodium forces are uniform across the width of the neural plate; but it can result if the lamellipodium forces decrease from a maximum value at the mid-sagittal plane to zero at the plate edge. Even the seemingly simple motions of neurulation are found to contain important features that would remain hidden, they were not studied using an advanced computational model. The present model operates in a setting where data are extremely sparse and an important outcome of the study is a better understanding of the role of computational models in such environments

  5. Highly efficient targeted mutagenesis in axolotl using Cas9 RNA-guided nuclease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flowers, G. Parker; Timberlake, Andrew T.; Mclean, Kaitlin C.; Monaghan, James R.; Crews, Craig M.

    2014-01-01

    Among tetrapods, only urodele salamanders, such as the axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum, can completely regenerate limbs as adults. The mystery of why salamanders, but not other animals, possess this ability has for generations captivated scientists seeking to induce this phenomenon in other vertebrates. Although many recent advances in molecular biology have allowed limb regeneration and tissue repair in the axolotl to be investigated in increasing detail, the molecular toolkit for the study of this process has been limited. Here, we report that the CRISPR-Cas9 RNA-guided nuclease system can efficiently create mutations at targeted sites within the axolotl genome. We identify individual animals treated with RNA-guided nucleases that have mutation frequencies close to 100% at targeted sites. We employ this technique to completely functionally ablate EGFP expression in transgenic animals and recapitulate developmental phenotypes produced by loss of the conserved gene brachyury. Thus, this advance allows a reverse genetic approach in the axolotl and will undoubtedly provide invaluable insight into the mechanisms of salamanders' unique regenerative ability. PMID:24764077

  6. Evolution of the head-trunk interface in tetrapod vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sefton, Elizabeth M; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Mohaddes, Zahra; Hanken, James

    2016-01-01

    Vertebrate neck musculature spans the transition zone between head and trunk. The extent to which the cucullaris muscle is a cranial muscle allied with the gill levators of anamniotes or is instead a trunk muscle is an ongoing debate. Novel computed tomography datasets reveal broad conservation of the cucullaris in gnathostomes, including coelacanth and caecilian, two sarcopterygians previously thought to lack it. In chicken, lateral plate mesoderm (LPM) adjacent to occipital somites is a recently identified embryonic source of cervical musculature. We fate-map this mesoderm in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), which retains external gills, and demonstrate its contribution to posterior gill-levator muscles and the cucullaris. Accordingly, LPM adjacent to the occipital somites should be regarded as posterior cranial mesoderm. The axial position of the head-trunk border in axolotl is congruent between LPM and somitic mesoderm, unlike in chicken and possibly other amniotes. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09972.001 PMID:27090084

  7. ISOLATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF AXOLOTL NPDC-1 AND ITS EFFECTS ON RETINOIC ACID RECEPTOR SIGNALING

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theodosiou, Maria; Monaghan, James R; Spencer, Michael L; Voss, S Randal; Noonan, Daniel J

    2009-01-01

    Retinoic acid, a key morphogen in early vertebrate development and tissue regeneration, mediates its effects through the binding of receptors that act as ligand-induced transcription factors. These binding events function to recruit an array of transcription co-regulatory proteins to specific gene promoters. One such co-regulatory protein, neuronal proliferation and differentiation control-1 (NPDC-1), is broadly expressed during mammalian development and functions as an in vitro repressor of retinoic acid receptor (RAR)-mediated transcription. To obtain comparative and developmental insights about NPDC-1 function, we cloned the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) orthologue and measured transcript abundances among tissues sampled during the embryonic and juvenile phases of development, and also during spinal cord regeneration. Structurally, the axolotl orthologue of NPDC-1 retained sequence identity to mammalian sequences in all functional domains. Functionally, we observed that axolotl NPDC-1 mRNA expression peaked late in embryogenesis, with highest levels of expression occurring during the time of limb development, a process regulated by retinoic acid signaling. Also similar to what has been observed in mammals, axolotl NPDC-1 directly interacts with axolotl RAR, modulates axolotl RAR DNA binding, and represses cell proliferation and axolotl RAR-mediated gene transcription. These data justify axolotl as a model to further investigate NPDC-1 and its role in regulating retinoic acid signaling. PMID:17331771

  8. Role of Myofibril-Inducing RNA in cardiac TnT expression in developing Mexican axolotl

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sferrazza, Gian-Franco; Zhang, Chi; Jia, Pingping; Lemanski, Sharon L.; Athauda, Gagani; Stassi, Alyssa; Halager, Kristine; Maier, Jennifer A.; Rueda-de-Leon, Elena; Gupta, Amit; Dube, Syamalima; Huang, Xupei; Prentice, Howard M.; Dube, Dipak K.; Lemanski, Larry F.

    2007-01-01

    The Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, has been a useful animal model to study heart development and cardiac myofibrillogenesis. A naturally-occurring recessive mutant, gene “c”, for cardiac non-function in the Mexican axolotl causes a failure of myofibrillogenesis due to a lack of tropomyosin expression in homozygous mutant (c/c) embryonic hearts.. Myofibril-Inducing RNA (MIR) rescues mutant hearts in vitro by promoting tropomyosin expression and myofibril formation thereafter. We have studied the effect of MIR on the expression of various isoforms of cardiac Troponin-T (cTnT), a component of the thin filament that binds with tropomyosin. Four alternatively spliced cTnT isoforms have been characterized from developing axolotl heart. The expression of various cTnT isoforms in normal, mutant, and mutant hearts corrected with MIR, is evaluated by real-time RT-PCR using isoform specific primer pairs; MIR affects the total transcription as well as the splicing of the cTnT in axolotl heart PMID:17408593

  9. Neuregulin-1 signaling is essential for nerve-dependent axolotl limb regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farkas, Johanna E; Freitas, Polina D; Bryant, Donald M; Whited, Jessica L; Monaghan, James R

    2016-08-01

    The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is capable of fully regenerating amputated limbs, but denervation of the limb inhibits the formation of the post-injury proliferative mass called the blastema. The molecular basis behind this phenomenon remains poorly understood, but previous studies have suggested that nerves support regeneration via the secretion of essential growth-promoting factors. An essential nerve-derived factor must be found in the blastema, capable of rescuing regeneration in denervated limbs, and its inhibition must prevent regeneration. Here, we show that the neuronally secreted protein Neuregulin-1 (NRG1) fulfills all these criteria in the axolotl. Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization of NRG1 and its active receptor ErbB2 revealed that they are expressed in regenerating blastemas but lost upon denervation. NRG1 was localized to the wound epithelium prior to blastema formation and was later strongly expressed in proliferating blastemal cells. Supplementation by implantation of NRG1-soaked beads rescued regeneration to digits in denervated limbs, and pharmacological inhibition of NRG1 signaling reduced cell proliferation, blocked blastema formation and induced aberrant collagen deposition in fully innervated limbs. Taken together, our results show that nerve-dependent NRG1/ErbB2 signaling promotes blastemal proliferation in the regenerating limb and may play an essential role in blastema formation, thus providing insight into the longstanding question of why nerves are required for axolotl limb regeneration. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  10. Identification of Conserved and Novel MicroRNAs during Tail Regeneration in the Mexican Axolotl

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Micah D. Gearhart

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The Mexican axolotl salamander (Ambystoma mexicanum is one member of a select group of vertebrate animals that have retained the amazing ability to regenerate multiple body parts. In addition to being an important model system for regeneration, the axolotl has also contributed extensively to studies of basic development. While many genes known to play key roles during development have now been implicated in various forms of regeneration, much of the regulatory apparatus controlling the underlying molecular circuitry remains unknown. In recent years, microRNAs have been identified as key regulators of gene expression during development, in many diseases and also, increasingly, in regeneration. Here, we have used deep sequencing combined with qRT-PCR to undertake a comprehensive identification of microRNAs involved in regulating regeneration in the axolotl. Specifically, among the microRNAs that we have found to be expressed in axolotl tissues, we have identified 4564 microRNA families known to be widely conserved among vertebrates, as well as 59,811 reads of putative novel microRNAs. These findings support the hypothesis that microRNAs play key roles in managing the precise spatial and temporal patterns of gene expression that ensures the correct regeneration of missing tissues.

  11. The Axolotl Fibula as a Model for the Induction of Regeneration across Large Segment Defects in Long Bones of the Extremities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiaoping; Song, Fengyu; Jhamb, Deepali; Li, Jiliang; Bottino, Marco C.; Palakal, Mathew J.; Stocum, David L.

    2015-01-01

    We tested the ability of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) fibula to regenerate across segment defects of different size in the absence of intervention or after implant of a unique 8-braid pig small intestine submucosa (SIS) scaffold, with or without incorporated growth factor combinations or tissue protein extract. Fractures and defects of 10% and 20% of the total limb length regenerated well without any intervention, but 40% and 50% defects failed to regenerate after either simple removal of bone or implanting SIS scaffold alone. By contrast, scaffold soaked in the growth factor combination BMP-4/HGF or in protein extract of intact limb tissue promoted partial or extensive induction of cartilage and bone across 50% segment defects in 30%-33% of cases. These results show that BMP-4/HGF and intact tissue protein extract can promote the events required to induce cartilage and bone formation across a segment defect larger than critical size and that the long bones of axolotl limbs are an inexpensive model to screen soluble factors and natural and synthetic scaffolds for their efficacy in stimulating this process. PMID:26098852

  12. Genic regions of a large salamander genome contain long introns and novel genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryant Susan V

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The basis of genome size variation remains an outstanding question because DNA sequence data are lacking for organisms with large genomes. Sixteen BAC clones from the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum: c-value = 32 × 109 bp were isolated and sequenced to characterize the structure of genic regions. Results Annotation of genes within BACs showed that axolotl introns are on average 10× longer than orthologous vertebrate introns and they are predicted to contain more functional elements, including miRNAs and snoRNAs. Loci were discovered within BACs for two novel EST transcripts that are differentially expressed during spinal cord regeneration and skin metamorphosis. Unexpectedly, a third novel gene was also discovered while manually annotating BACs. Analysis of human-axolotl protein-coding sequences suggests there are 2% more lineage specific genes in the axolotl genome than the human genome, but the great majority (86% of genes between axolotl and human are predicted to be 1:1 orthologs. Considering that axolotl genes are on average 5× larger than human genes, the genic component of the salamander genome is estimated to be incredibly large, approximately 2.8 gigabases! Conclusion This study shows that a large salamander genome has a correspondingly large genic component, primarily because genes have incredibly long introns. These intronic sequences may harbor novel coding and non-coding sequences that regulate biological processes that are unique to salamanders.

  13. The Axolotl Fibula as a Model for the Induction of Regeneration across Large Segment Defects in Long Bones of the Extremities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoping Chen

    Full Text Available We tested the ability of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum fibula to regenerate across segment defects of different size in the absence of intervention or after implant of a unique 8-braid pig small intestine submucosa (SIS scaffold, with or without incorporated growth factor combinations or tissue protein extract. Fractures and defects of 10% and 20% of the total limb length regenerated well without any intervention, but 40% and 50% defects failed to regenerate after either simple removal of bone or implanting SIS scaffold alone. By contrast, scaffold soaked in the growth factor combination BMP-4/HGF or in protein extract of intact limb tissue promoted partial or extensive induction of cartilage and bone across 50% segment defects in 30%-33% of cases. These results show that BMP-4/HGF and intact tissue protein extract can promote the events required to induce cartilage and bone formation across a segment defect larger than critical size and that the long bones of axolotl limbs are an inexpensive model to screen soluble factors and natural and synthetic scaffolds for their efficacy in stimulating this process.

  14. Multi-scale finite element modeling allows the mechanics of amphibian neurulation to be elucidated

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiaoguang; Brodland, G. Wayne

    2008-03-01

    The novel multi-scale computational approach introduced here makes possible a new means for testing hypotheses about the forces that drive specific morphogenetic movements. A 3D model based on this approach is used to investigate neurulation in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), a type of amphibian. The model is based on geometric data from 3D surface reconstructions of live embryos and from serial sections. Tissue properties are described by a system of cell-based constitutive equations, and parameters in the equations are determined from physical tests. The model includes the effects of Shroom-activated neural ridge reshaping and lamellipodium-driven convergent extension. A typical whole-embryo model consists of 10 239 elements and to run its 100 incremental time steps requires 2 days. The model shows that a normal phenotype does not result if lamellipodium forces are uniform across the width of the neural plate; but it can result if the lamellipodium forces decrease from a maximum value at the mid-sagittal plane to zero at the plate edge. Even the seemingly simple motions of neurulation are found to contain important features that would remain hidden, they were not studied using an advanced computational model. The present model operates in a setting where data are extremely sparse and an important outcome of the study is a better understanding of the role of computational models in such environments.

  15. Potential influence of plant chemicals on infectivity of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Elizabeth W; Larsen, Andrew; Meins Palmer, Crystal

    2012-11-08

    We explored whether extracts of trees frequently found associated with amphibian habitats in Australia and Arizona, USA, may be inhibitory to the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which has been associated with global amphibian declines. We used salamanders Ambystoma tigrinum as the model system. Salamanders acquired significantly lower loads of Bd when exposed on leaves and extracts from the river red gum Eucalyptus camaldulensis, and loads were also low in some animals exposed on extracts of 2 oak species, Quercus emoryi and Q. turbinella. Some previously infected salamanders had their pathogen loads reduced, and some were fully cured, by placing them in leaf extracts, although some animals also self cured when housed in water alone. A significant number of animals cured of Bd infections 6 mo earlier were found to be resistant to reinfection. These results suggest that plants associated with amphibian habitats should be taken into consideration when explaining the prevalence of Bd in these habitats and that some amphibians may acquire resistance to the fungus if previously cured.

  16. Habitat alteration increases invasive fire ant abundance to the detriment of amphibians and reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, B.D.; Rothermel, B.B.; Reed, R.N.; Luhring, T.M.; Schlatter, K.; Trenkamp, L.; Gibbons, J.W.

    2008-01-01

    Altered habitats have been suggested to facilitate red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) colonization and dispersal, possibly compounding effects of habitat alteration on native wildlife. In this study, we compared colonization intensity of wood cover boards by S. invicta among four forest management treatments in South Carolina, USA: an unharvested control (>30 years old); a partially thinned stand; a clearcut with coarse woody debris retained; and a clearcut with coarse woody debris removed. Additionally, we compared dehydration rates and survival of recently metamorphosed salamanders (marbled salamanders, Ambystoma opacum, and mole salamanders, A. talpoideum) among treatments. We found that the number of wood cover boards colonized by S. invicta differed significantly among treatments, being lowest in the unharvested forest treatments and increasing with the degree of habitat alteration. Salamanders that were maintained in experimental field enclosures to study water loss were unexpectedly subjected to high levels of S. invicta predation that differed among forest treatments. All known predation by S. invicta was restricted to salamanders in clearcuts. The amount of vegetative ground cover was inversely related to the likelihood of S. invicta predation of salamanders. Our results show that S. invicta abundance increases with habitat disturbance and that this increased abundance has negative consequences for amphibians that remain in altered habitats. Our findings also suggest that the presence of invasive S. invicta may compromise the utility of cover boards and other techniques commonly used in herpetological studies in the Southeast. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  17. Positive in vitro wound healing effects of functional inclusion bodies of a lipoxygenase from the Mexican axolotl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamm, Anne; Strauß, Sarah; Vogt, Peter; Scheper, Thomas; Pepelanova, Iliyana

    2018-04-07

    AmbLOXe is a lipoxygenase, which is up-regulated during limb-redevelopment in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, an animal with remarkable regeneration capacity. Previous studies have shown that mammalian cells transformed with the gene of this epidermal lipoxygenase display faster migration and wound closure rate during in vitro wound healing experiments. In this study, the gene of AmbLOXe was codon-optimized for expression in Escherichia coli and was produced in the insoluble fraction as protein aggregates. These inclusion bodies or nanopills were shown to be reservoirs containing functional protein during in vitro wound healing assays. For this purpose, functional inclusion bodies were used to coat cell culture surfaces prior cell seeding or were added directly to the medium after cells reached confluence. In both scenarios, AmbLOXe inclusion bodies led to faster migration rate and wound closure, in comparison to controls containing either no AmbLOXe or GFP inclusion bodies. Our results demonstrate that AmbLOXe inclusion bodies are functional and may serve as stable reservoirs of this enzyme. Nevertheless, further studies with soluble enzyme are also necessary in order to start elucidating the exact molecular substrates of AmbLOXe and the biochemical pathways involved in the wound healing effect.

  18. From fish to modern humans--comparative anatomy, homologies and evolution of the pectoral and forelimb musculature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diogo, R; Abdala, V; Aziz, M A; Lonergan, N; Wood, B A

    2009-05-01

    In a recent study Diogo & Abdala [(2007) J Morphol 268, 504-517] reported the results of the first part of a research project on the comparative anatomy, homologies and evolution of the pectoral muscles of osteichthyans (bony fish and tetrapods). That report mainly focused on actinopterygian fish but also compared these fish with certain non-mammalian sarcopterygians. This study, which reports the second part of the research project, focuses mainly on sarcopterygians and particularly on how the pectoral and forelimb muscles have evolved during the transitions from sarcopterygian fish and non-mammalian tetrapods to monotreme and therian mammals and humans. The data obtained by our own dissections of all the pectoral and forelimb muscles of representative members of groups as diverse as sarcopterygian fish, amphibians, reptiles, monotremes and therian mammals such as rodents, tree-shrews, colugos and primates, including humans, are compared with the information available in the literature. Our observations and comparisons clearly stress that, with regard to the number of pectoral and forelimb muscles, the most striking transition within sarcopterygian evolutionary history was that leading to the origin of tetrapods. Whereas extant sarcopterygian fish have an abductor and adductor of the fin and a largely undifferentiated hypaxial and epaxial musculature, extant salamanders such as Ambystoma have more than 40 pectoral and forelimb muscles. There is no clear increase in the number of pectoral and forelimb muscles within the evolutionary transition that led to the origin of mammals and surely not to that leading to the origin of primates and humans.

  19. Functional and morphological variety in trunk muscles of Urodela.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omura, Ayano; Anzai, Wataru; Endo, Hideki

    2014-03-01

    Trunk musculature in Urodela species varies by habitat. In this study, trunk musculature was examined in five species of adult salamanders representing three different habitats: aquatic species, Amphiuma tridactylum and Necturus maculosus; semi-aquatic species, Cynops pyrrhogaster; terrestrial species, Hynobius nigrescens and Ambystoma tigrinum. More terrestrial species have heavier dorsal and ventral trunk muscles than more aquatic forms. By contrast, the lateral hypaxial musculature was stronger in more aquatic species. The number of layers of lateral hypaxial musculature varied among Urodela species and did not clearly correlate with their habitats. The M. rectus abdominis was separated from the lateral hypaxial musculature in both terrestrial and semi-aquatic species. In aquatic species, M. rectus abdominis was not separated from lateral hypaxial musculature. Lateral hypaxial musculature differed in thickness among species and was relatively thinner in terrestrial species. In more terrestrial species, dorsal muscles may be used for stabilization and ventral flexing against gravity. Ventral muscle may be used in preventing dorsally concave curvature of the trunk by dorsal muscles and by weight. The lengthy trunk supported by limbs needs muscular forces along the ventral contour line in more terrestrial species. And, the locomotion on well-developed limbs seems to lead to a decrease of the lateral hypaxial musculature.

  20. Effect of road deicing salt on the susceptibility of amphibian embryos to infection by water molds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karraker, Nancy E; Ruthig, Gregory R

    2009-01-01

    Some causative agents of amphibian declines act synergistically to impact individual amphibians and their populations. In particular, pathogenic water molds (aquatic oomycetes) interact with environmental stressors and increase mortality in amphibian embryos. We documented colonization of eggs of three amphibian species, the wood frog (Rana sylvatica), the green frog (Rana clamitans), and the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum), by water molds in the field and examined the interactive effects of road deicing salt and water molds, two known sources of mortality for amphibian embryos, on two species, R. clamitans and A. maculatum in the laboratory. We found that exposure to water molds did not affect embryonic survivorship in either A. maculatum or R. clamitans, regardless of the concentration of road salt to which their eggs were exposed. Road salt decreased survivorship of A. maculatum, but not R. clamitans, and frequency of malformations increased significantly in both species at the highest salinity concentration. The lack of an effect of water molds on survival of embryos and no interaction between road salt and water molds indicates that observations of colonization of these eggs by water molds in the field probably represent a secondary invasion of unfertilized eggs or of embryos that had died of other causes. Given increasing salinization of freshwater habitats on several continents and the global distribution of water molds, our results suggest that some amphibian species may not be susceptible to the combined effects of these factors, permitting amphibian decline researchers to devote their attention to other potential causes.

  1. Experimentally induced metamorphosis in axolotls reduces regenerative rate and fidelity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stier, Adrian C.; Michonneau, François; Smith, Matthew D.; Pasch, Bret; Maden, Malcolm

    2014-01-01

    Abstract While most tetrapods are unable to regenerate severed body parts, amphibians display a remarkable ability to regenerate an array of structures. Frogs can regenerate appendages as larva, but they lose this ability around metamorphosis. In contrast, salamanders regenerate appendages as larva, juveniles, and adults. However, the extent to which fundamental traits (e.g., metamorphosis, body size, aging, etc.) restrict regenerative ability remains contentious. Here we utilize the ability of normally paedomorphic adult axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) to undergo induced metamorphosis by thyroxine exposure to test how metamorphosis and body size affects regeneration in age‐matched paedomorphic and metamorphic individuals. We show that body size does not affect regeneration in adult axolotls, but metamorphosis causes a twofold reduction in regeneration rate, and lead to carpal and digit malformations. Furthermore, we find evidence that metamorphic blastemal cells may take longer to traverse the cell cycle and display a lower proliferative rate. This study identifies the axolotl as a powerful system to study how metamorphosis restricts regeneration independently of developmental stage, body size, and age; and more broadly how metamorphosis affects tissue‐specific changes. PMID:27499857

  2. Efficient gene knockin in axolotl and its use to test the role of satellite cells in limb regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fei, Ji-Feng; Schuez, Maritta; Knapp, Dunja; Taniguchi, Yuka; Drechsel, David N; Tanaka, Elly M

    2017-11-21

    Salamanders exhibit extensive regenerative capacities and serve as a unique model in regeneration research. However, due to the lack of targeted gene knockin approaches, it has been difficult to label and manipulate some of the cell populations that are crucial for understanding the mechanisms underlying regeneration. Here we have established highly efficient gene knockin approaches in the axolotl ( Ambystoma mexicanum ) based on the CRISPR/Cas9 technology. Using a homology-independent method, we successfully inserted both the Cherry reporter gene and a larger membrane-tagged Cherry-ER T2 -Cre-ER T2 (∼5-kb) cassette into axolotl Sox2 and Pax7 genomic loci. Depending on the size of the DNA fragments for integration, 5-15% of the F0 transgenic axolotl are positive for the transgene. Using these techniques, we have labeled and traced the PAX7-positive satellite cells as a major source contributing to myogenesis during axolotl limb regeneration. Our work brings a key genetic tool to molecular and cellular studies of axolotl regeneration.

  3. Evolutionary insights into the regulation of courtship behavior in male amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolley, Sarah C; Sakata, Jon T; Crews, David

    2004-11-15

    Comparative studies of species differences and similarities in the regulation of courtship behavior afford an understanding of evolutionary pressures and constraints shaping reproductive processes and the relative contributions of hormonal, genetic, and ecological factors. Here, we review species differences and similarities in the control of courtship and copulatory behaviors in male amphibians and reptiles, focusing on the role of sex steroid hormones, the neurohormone arginine vasotocin (AVT), and catecholamines. We discuss species differences in the sensory modalities used during courtship and in the neural correlates of these differences, as well as the value of particular model systems for neural evolution studies with regard to reproductive processes. For example, in some genera of amphibians (e.g., Ambystoma) and reptiles (e.g., Cnemidophorus), interspecific hybridizations occur, making it possible to compare the ancestral with the descendant species, and these systems provide a window into the process of behavioral and neural evolution as well as the effect of genome size. Though our understanding of the hormonal and neural correlates of mating behavior in a variety of amphibian and reptilian species has advanced substantially, more studies that manipulate hormone or neurotransmitter systems are required to assess the functions of these systems.

  4. Evolutionary aspects of growth hormones and prolactins and their receptors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tarpey, J.F.

    1986-01-01

    The interactions of GH's, PRL's and PL's with receptors for GH and PRL were examined from a comparative and evolutionary viewpoint. The binding of 125 I-bGH to membrane preparations from liver of representatives of the major classes of non-mammalian vertebrates was also studied. Only hepatic membranes from sturgeon and Gillichthys had significant bGH binding and were further characterized and compared with male rabbit liver membranes in terms of time, temperature, pH, and membrane concentration to optimize binding conditions. The binding of several members of the GH, PRL, PL family of hormones to GH receptors from liver of sturgeon, Gillichthys, rabbit, mouse and rat was investigated. in terms of hormonal specificity, the mammalian receptors and the sturgeon binding sites were similar, while Gillichthys receptors had a different pattern of hormonal specificity. The binding of 125 I-oPRL to renal membranes of the turtle, Pseudemys scripta elegans, was characterized and compared to PRL binding sites of kidney membranes of the bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana, and the tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum

  5. Anatomy of the pectoral and forelimb muscles of wildtype and green fluorescent protein-transgenic axolotls and comparison with other tetrapods including humans: a basis for regenerative, evolutionary and developmental studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diogo, R; Tanaka, E M

    2012-01-01

    The axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum is one of the most used model organisms in evolutionary, developmental and regenerative studies, particularly because it can reconstitute a fully functional and complete forelimb/hindlimb. Surprisingly, there is no publication that describes all the pectoral and forelimb muscles of this species or provides a comparative framework between these muscles and those of other model organisms and of modern humans. In the present paper we describe and illustrate all these muscles in A. mexicanum and provide the first report about the myology of adults of a model organism that is based on analyses and dissections of both wildtype animals and transgenic animals that express green fluorescent protein (GFP) in muscle fibers. On the one hand, the inclusion of GFP-transgenic animals allows us to show the muscles as more commonly seen, and thus easier to understand, by current developmental and regenerative biologists. On the other hand, by including wildtype and GFP-transgenic animals and by visualizing these latter animals with and without a simultaneous transmission laser light, we were able to obtain a more complete and clearer understanding of the exact limit of the fleshy and tendinous parts of the muscles and their specific connections with the skeletal elements. This in turn allowed us to settle some controversies in previous anatomical and comparative studies. As most developmental, regenerative and evolutionary biologists are interested in comparing their observations of A. mexicanum with observations in other model organisms, and ultimately in using this information to increase the understanding of human evolution and medicine, we also provide tables showing the homologies between the pectoral and forelimb muscles of axolotls, of model organisms such as mice, frogs and chicken, and of Homo sapiens. An example illustrating the outcomes of using our methodology and of our observations is that they revealed that, contrary to what is often

  6. Anatomy of the pectoral and forelimb muscles of wildtype and green fluorescent protein-transgenic axolotls and comparison with other tetrapods including humans: a basis for regenerative, evolutionary and developmental studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diogo, R; Tanaka, E M

    2012-12-01

    The axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum is one of the most used model organisms in evolutionary, developmental and regenerative studies, particularly because it can reconstitute a fully functional and complete forelimb/hindlimb. Surprisingly, there is no publication that describes all the pectoral and forelimb muscles of this species or provides a comparative framework between these muscles and those of other model organisms and of modern humans. In the present paper we describe and illustrate all these muscles in A. mexicanum and provide the first report about the myology of adults of a model organism that is based on analyses and dissections of both wildtype animals and transgenic animals that express green fluorescent protein (GFP) in muscle fibers. On the one hand, the inclusion of GFP-transgenic animals allows us to show the muscles as more commonly seen, and thus easier to understand, by current developmental and regenerative biologists. On the other hand, by including wildtype and GFP-transgenic animals and by visualizing these latter animals with and without a simultaneous transmission laser light, we were able to obtain a more complete and clearer understanding of the exact limit of the fleshy and tendinous parts of the muscles and their specific connections with the skeletal elements. This in turn allowed us to settle some controversies in previous anatomical and comparative studies. As most developmental, regenerative and evolutionary biologists are interested in comparing their observations of A. mexicanum with observations in other model organisms, and ultimately in using this information to increase the understanding of human evolution and medicine, we also provide tables showing the homologies between the pectoral and forelimb muscles of axolotls, of model organisms such as mice, frogs and chicken, and of Homo sapiens. An example illustrating the outcomes of using our methodology and of our observations is that they revealed that, contrary to what is often

  7. Impacts of water development on aquatic macroinvertebrates, amphibians, and plants in wetlands of a semi-arid landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euliss, Ned H.; Mushet, David M.

    2004-01-01

    We compared the macroinvertebrate and amphibian communities of 12 excavated and 12 natural wetlands in western North Dakota, USA, to assess the effects of artificially lengthened hydroperiods on the biotic communities of wetlands in this semi-arid region. Excavated wetlands were much deeper and captured greater volumes of water than natural wetlands. Most excavated wetlands maintained water throughout the study period (May to October 1999), whereas most of the natural wetlands were dry by June. Excavated wetlands were largely unvegetated or contained submergent and deep-marsh plant species. The natural wetlands had two well-defined vegetative zones populated by plant species typical of wet meadows and shallow marshes. Excavated wetlands had a richer aquatic macroinvertebrate community that included several predatory taxa not found in natural wetlands. Taxa adapted to the short hydroperiods of seasonal wetlands were largely absent from excavated wetlands. The amphibian community of natural and excavated wetlands included the boreal chorus frog (Pseudacris maculata), northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens), plains spadefoot (Scaphiopus bombifrons), Woodhouse's toad (Bufo woodhousii woodhousii), and tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum). The plains spadefoot occurred only in natural wetlands while tiger salamanders occurred in all 12 excavated wetlands and only one natural wetland. Boreal chorus frogs and northern leopard frogs were present in both wetland types; however, they successfully reproduced only in wetlands lacking tiger salamanders. Artificially extending the hydroperiod of wetlands by excavation has greatly influenced the composition of native biotic communities adapted to the naturally short hydroperiods of wetlands in this semi-arid region. The compositional change of the biotic communities can be related to hydrological changes and biotic interactions, especially predation related to excavation.

  8. Reducing bias in population and landscape genetic inferences: the effects of sampling related individuals and multiple life stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterman, William; Brocato, Emily R; Semlitsch, Raymond D; Eggert, Lori S

    2016-01-01

    In population or landscape genetics studies, an unbiased sampling scheme is essential for generating accurate results, but logistics may lead to deviations from the sample design. Such deviations may come in the form of sampling multiple life stages. Presently, it is largely unknown what effect sampling different life stages can have on population or landscape genetic inference, or how mixing life stages can affect the parameters being measured. Additionally, the removal of siblings from a data set is considered best-practice, but direct comparisons of inferences made with and without siblings are limited. In this study, we sampled embryos, larvae, and adult Ambystoma maculatum from five ponds in Missouri, and analyzed them at 15 microsatellite loci. We calculated allelic richness, heterozygosity and effective population sizes for each life stage at each pond and tested for genetic differentiation (F ST and D C ) and isolation-by-distance (IBD) among ponds. We tested for differences in each of these measures between life stages, and in a pooled population of all life stages. All calculations were done with and without sibling pairs to assess the effect of sibling removal. We also assessed the effect of reducing the number of microsatellites used to make inference. No statistically significant differences were found among ponds or life stages for any of the population genetic measures, but patterns of IBD differed among life stages. There was significant IBD when using adult samples, but tests using embryos, larvae, or a combination of the three life stages were not significant. We found that increasing the ratio of larval or embryo samples in the analysis of genetic distance weakened the IBD relationship, and when using D C , the IBD was no longer significant when larvae and embryos exceeded 60% of the population sample. Further, power to detect an IBD relationship was reduced when fewer microsatellites were used in the analysis.

  9. Climate change, multiple stressors, and the decline of ectotherms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohr, Jason R; Palmer, Brent D

    2013-08-01

    Climate change is believed to be causing declines of ectothermic vertebrates, but there is little evidence that climatic conditions associated with declines have exceeded critical (i.e., acutely lethal) maxima or minima, and most relevant studies are correlative, anecdotal, or short-term (hours). We conducted an 11-week factorial experiment to examine the effects of temperature (22 °C or 27 °C), moisture (wet or dry), and atrazine (an herbicide; 0, 4, 40, 400 μg/L exposure as embryos and larvae) on the survival, growth, behavior, and foraging rates of postmetamorphic streamside salamanders (Ambystoma barbouri), a species of conservation concern. The tested climatic conditions were between the critical maxima and minima of streamside salamanders; thus, this experiment quantified the long-term effects of climate change within the noncritical range of this species. Despite a suite of behavioral adaptations to warm and dry conditions (e.g., burrowing, refuge use, huddling with conspecifics, and a reduction in activity), streamside salamanders exhibited significant loss of mass and significant mortality in all but the cool and moist conditions, which were closest to the climatic conditions in which they are most active in nature. A temperature of 27 °C represented a greater mortality risk than dry conditions; death occurred rapidly at this temperature and more gradually under cool and dry conditions. Foraging decreased under dry conditions, which suggests there were opportunity costs to water conservation. Exposure to the herbicide atrazine additively decreased water-conserving behaviors, foraging efficiency, mass, and time to death. Hence, the hypothesis that moderate climate change can cause population declines is even more plausible under scenarios with multiple stressors. These results suggest that climate change within the noncritical range of species and pollution may reduce individual performance by altering metabolic demands, hydration, and foraging effort

  10. Projecting invasion risk of non-native watersnakes (Nerodia fasciata and Nerodia sipedon in the western United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan P Rose

    Full Text Available Species distribution models (SDMs are increasingly used to project the potential distribution of introduced species outside their native range. Such studies rarely explicitly evaluate potential conflicts with native species should the range of introduced species expand. Two snake species native to eastern North America, Nerodia fasciata and Nerodia sipedon, have been introduced to California where they represent a new stressor to declining native amphibians, fish, and reptiles. To project the potential distributions of these non-native watersnakes in western North America, we built ensemble SDMs using MaxEnt, Boosted Regression Trees, and Random Forests and habitat and climatic variables. We then compared the overlap between the projected distribution of invasive watersnakes and the distributions of imperiled native amphibians, fish, and reptiles that can serve as prey or competitors for the invaders, to estimate the risk to native species posed by non-native watersnakes. Large areas of western North America were projected to be climatically suitable for both species of Nerodia according to our ensemble SDMs, including much of central California. The potential distributions of both N. fasciata and N. sipedon overlap extensively with the federally threatened Giant Gartersnake, Thamnophis gigas, which inhabits a similar ecological niche. N. fasciata also poses risk to the federally threatened California Tiger Salamander, Ambystoma californiense, whereas N. sipedon poses risk to some amphibians of conservation concern, including the Foothill Yellow-legged Frog, Rana boylii. We conclude that non-native watersnakes in California can likely inhabit ranges of several native species of conservation concern that are expected to suffer as prey or competing species for these invaders. Action should be taken now to eradicate or control these invasions before detrimental impacts on native species are widespread. Our methods can be applied broadly to quantify

  11. Impacts of road deicing salt on the demography of vernal pool-breeding amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karraker, Nancy E; Gibbs, James P; Vonesh, James R

    2008-04-01

    Deicing agents, primarily road salt, are applied to roads in 26 states in the United States and in a number of European countries, yet the scale of impacts of road salt on aquatic organisms remains largely under-studied. The issue is germane to amphibian conservation because both adult and larval amphibians are known to be particularly sensitive to changes in their osmolar environments. In this study, we combined survey, experimental, and demographic modeling approaches to evaluate the possible effects of road salt on two common vernal-pond-breeding amphibian species, the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) and the wood frog (Rana sylvatica). We found that in the Adirondack Mountain Region of New York (USA), road salt traveled up to 172 m from the highway into wetlands. Surveys showed that egg mass densities of spotted salamanders (A. maculatum) and wood frogs (R. sylvatica) were two times higher in forest pools than roadside pools, but this pattern was better explained by road proximity than by increased salinity. Experiments demonstrated that embryonic and larval survival were reduced at moderate (500 muS) and high conductivities (3000 muS) in A. maculatum and at high conductivities in R. sylvatica. Demographic models suggest that such egg and larval stage effects of salt may have important impacts on populations near roads, particularly in the case of A. maculatum, for which salt exposure may lead to local extinction. For both species, the effect of road salt was dependent upon the strength of larval density dependence and declined rapidly with distance from the roadside, with the greatest negative effects being limited to within 50 m. Based on this evidence, we argue that efforts to protect local populations of A. maculatum and R. sylvatica in roadside wetlands should, in part, be aimed at reducing application of road salt near wetlands with high conductivity levels.

  12. The quantification of spermatozoa by real-time quantitative PCR, spectrophotometry, and spermatophore cap size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doyle, Jacqueline M; McCormick, Cory R; DeWoody, J Andrew

    2011-01-01

    Many animals, such as crustaceans, insects, and salamanders, package their sperm into spermatophores, and the number of spermatozoa contained in a spermatophore is relevant to studies of sexual selection and sperm competition. We used two molecular methods, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and spectrophotometry, to estimate sperm numbers from spermatophores. First, we designed gene-specific primers that produced a single amplicon in four species of ambystomatid salamanders. A standard curve generated from cloned amplicons revealed a strong positive relationship between template DNA quantity and cycle threshold, suggesting that RT-qPCR could be used to quantify sperm in a given sample. We then extracted DNA from multiple Ambystoma maculatum spermatophores, performed RT-qPCR on each sample, and estimated template copy numbers (i.e. sperm number) using the standard curve. Second, we used spectrophotometry to determine the number of sperm per spermatophore by measuring DNA concentration relative to the genome size. We documented a significant positive relationship between the estimates of sperm number based on RT-qPCR and those based on spectrophotometry. When these molecular estimates were compared to spermatophore cap size, which in principle could predict the number of sperm contained in the spermatophore, we also found a significant positive relationship between sperm number and spermatophore cap size. This linear model allows estimates of sperm number strictly from cap size, an approach which could greatly simplify the estimation of sperm number in future studies. These methods may help explain variation in fertilization success where sperm competition is mediated by sperm quantity. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  13. Comparative limb bone loading in the humerus and femur of the tiger salamander: testing the 'mixed-chain' hypothesis for skeletal safety factors.

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    Kawano, Sandy M; Economy, D Ross; Kennedy, Marian S; Dean, Delphine; Blob, Richard W

    2016-02-01

    Locomotion imposes some of the highest loads upon the skeleton, and diverse bone designs have evolved to withstand these demands. Excessive loads can fatally injure organisms; however, bones have a margin of extra protection, called a 'safety factor' (SF), to accommodate loads that are higher than normal. The extent to which SFs might vary amongst an animal's limb bones is unclear. If the limbs are likened to a chain composed of bones as 'links', then similar SFs might be expected for all limb bones because failure of the system would be determined by the weakest link, and extra protection in other links could waste energetic resources. However, Alexander proposed that a 'mixed-chain' of SFs might be found amongst bones if: (1) their energetic costs differ, (2) some elements face variable demands, or (3) SFs are generally high. To test whether such conditions contribute to diversity in limb bone SFs, we compared the biomechanical properties and locomotor loading of the humerus and femur in the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum). Despite high SFs in salamanders and similar sizes of the humerus and femur that would suggest similar energetic costs, the humerus had lower bone stresses, higher mechanical hardness and larger SFs. SFs were greatest in the anatomical regions where yield stresses were highest in the humerus and lowest in the femur. Such intraspecific variation between and within bones may relate to their different biomechanical functions, providing insight into the emergence of novel locomotor capabilities during the invasion of land by tetrapods. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  14. Phylogenetic analysis of algal symbionts associated with four North American amphibian egg masses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Eunsoo; Lin, Yuan; Kerney, Ryan; Blumenberg, Lili; Bishop, Cory

    2014-01-01

    Egg masses of the yellow-spotted salamander Ambystoma maculatum form an association with the green alga "Oophila amblystomatis" (Lambert ex Wille), which, in addition to growing within individual egg capsules, has recently been reported to invade embryonic tissues and cells. The binomial O. amblystomatis refers to the algae that occur in A. maculatum egg capsules, but it is unknown whether this population of symbionts constitutes one or several different algal taxa. Moreover, it is unknown whether egg masses across the geographic range of A. maculatum, or other amphibians, associate with one or multiple algal taxa. To address these questions, we conducted a phylogeographic study of algae sampled from egg capsules of A. maculatum, its allopatric congener A. gracile, and two frogs: Lithobates sylvatica and L. aurora. All of these North American amphibians form associations with algae in their egg capsules. We sampled algae from egg capsules of these four amphibians from localities across North America, established representative algal cultures, and amplified and sequenced a region of 18S rDNA for phylogenetic analysis. Our combined analysis shows that symbiotic algae found in egg masses of four North American amphibians are closely related to each other, and form a well-supported clade that also contains three strains of free-living chlamydomonads. We designate this group as the 'Oophila' clade, within which the symbiotic algae are further divided into four distinct subclades. Phylogenies of the host amphibians and their algal symbionts are only partially congruent, suggesting that host-switching and co-speciation both play roles in their associations. We also established conditions for isolating and rearing algal symbionts from amphibian egg capsules, which should facilitate further study of these egg mass specialist algae.

  15. Transcriptome dynamics along axolotl regenerative development are consistent with an extensive reduction in gene expression heterogeneity in dedifferentiated cells

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    Carlos Díaz-Castillo

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Although in recent years the study of gene expression variation in the absence of genetic or environmental cues or gene expression heterogeneity has intensified considerably, many basic and applied biological fields still remain unaware of how useful the study of gene expression heterogeneity patterns might be for the characterization of biological systems and/or processes. Largely based on the modulator effect chromatin compaction has for gene expression heterogeneity and the extensive changes in chromatin compaction known to occur for specialized cells that are naturally or artificially induced to revert to less specialized states or dedifferentiate, I recently hypothesized that processes that concur with cell dedifferentiation would show an extensive reduction in gene expression heterogeneity. The confirmation of the existence of such trend could be of wide interest because of the biomedical and biotechnological relevance of cell dedifferentiation-based processes, i.e., regenerative development, cancer, human induced pluripotent stem cells, or plant somatic embryogenesis. Here, I report the first empirical evidence consistent with the existence of an extensive reduction in gene expression heterogeneity for processes that concur with cell dedifferentiation by analyzing transcriptome dynamics along forearm regenerative development in Ambystoma mexicanum or axolotl. Also, I briefly discuss on the utility of the study of gene expression heterogeneity dynamics might have for the characterization of cell dedifferentiation-based processes, and the engineering of tools that afforded better monitoring and modulating such processes. Finally, I reflect on how a transitional reduction in gene expression heterogeneity for dedifferentiated cells can promote a long-term increase in phenotypic heterogeneity following cell dedifferentiation with potential adverse effects for biomedical and biotechnological applications.

  16. Enzymatically active 2',5'-oligoadenylate synthetases are widely distributed among Metazoa, including protostome lineage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Päri, Mailis; Kuusksalu, Anne; Lopp, Annika; Kjaer, Karina Hansen; Justesen, Just; Kelve, Merike

    2014-02-01

    2',5'-Oligoadenylate synthetases (OASs) belong to the nucleotidyl transferase family together with poly(A) polymerases, CCA-adding enzymes and the recently discovered cyclic-GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS). Mammalian OASs have been thoroughly characterized as components of the interferon-induced antiviral system. The OAS activity and the respective genes were also discovered in marine sponges where the interferon system is absent. In this study the recombinant OASs from several multicellular animals and their closest unicellular relative, a choanoflagellate, were expressed in a bacterial expression system and their enzymatic activities were examined. We demonstrated 2-5A synthesizing activities of OASs from the marine sponge Tedania ignis, a representative of the phylogenetically oldest metazoan phylum (Porifera), from an invertebrate of the protostome lineage, the mollusk Mytilus californianus (Mollusca), and from a vertebrate species, a cartilaginous fish Leucoraja erinacea (Chordata). However, the expressed proteins from an amphibian, the salamander Ambystoma mexicanum (Chordata), and from a protozoan, the marine choanoflagellate Monosiga brevicollis (Choanozoa), did not show 2-5A synthesizing activity. Differently from other studied OASs, OAS from the marine sponge T. ignis was able to catalyze the formation of oligomers having both 2',5'- and 3',5'-phosphodiester linkages. Our data suggest that OASs from sponges and evolutionarily higher animals have similar activation mechanisms which still include different affinities and possibly different structural requirements for the activating RNAs. Considering their 2'- and 3'-specificities, sponge OASs could represent a link between evolutionarily earlier nucleotidyl transferases and 2'-specific OASs from higher animals. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  17. Precise control of miR-125b levels is required to create a regeneration-permissive environment after spinal cord injury: a cross-species comparison between salamander and rat

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    Juan Felipe Diaz Quiroz

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Most spinal cord injuries lead to permanent paralysis in mammals. By contrast, the remarkable regenerative abilities of salamanders enable full functional recovery even from complete spinal cord transections. The molecular differences underlying this evolutionary divergence between mammals and amphibians are poorly understood. We focused on upstream regulators of gene expression as primary entry points into this question. We identified a group of microRNAs (miRNAs that are conserved between the Mexican axolotl salamander (Ambystoma mexicanum and mammals but show marked cross-species differences in regulation patterns following spinal cord injury. We found that precise post-injury levels of one of these miRNAs (miR-125b is essential for functional recovery, and guides correct regeneration of axons through the lesion site in a process involving the direct downstream target Sema4D in axolotls. Translating these results to a mammalian model, we increased miR-125b levels in the rat through mimic treatments following spinal cord transection. These treatments downregulated Sema4D and other glial-scar-related genes, and enhanced the animal’s functional recovery. Our study identifies a key regulatory molecule conserved between salamander and mammal, and shows that the expression of miR-125b and Sema4D must be carefully controlled in the right cells at the correct level to promote regeneration. We also show that these molecular components of the salamander’s regeneration-permissive environment can be experimentally harnessed to improve treatment outcomes for mammalian spinal cord injuries.

  18. Solution structure and phylogenetics of Prod1, a member of the three-finger protein superfamily implicated in salamander limb regeneration.

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    Acely Garza-Garcia

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Following the amputation of a limb, newts and salamanders have the capability to regenerate the lost tissues via a complex process that takes place at the site of injury. Initially these cells undergo dedifferentiation to a state competent to regenerate the missing limb structures. Crucially, dedifferentiated cells have memory of their level of origin along the proximodistal (PD axis of the limb, a property known as positional identity. Notophthalmus viridescens Prod1 is a cell-surface molecule of the three-finger protein (TFP superfamily involved in the specification of newt limb PD identity. The TFP superfamily is a highly diverse group of metazoan proteins that includes snake venom toxins, mammalian transmembrane receptors and miscellaneous signaling molecules. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: With the aim of identifying potential orthologs of Prod1, we have solved its 3D structure and compared it to other known TFPs using phylogenetic techniques. The analysis shows that TFP 3D structures group in different categories according to function. Prod1 clusters with other cell surface protein TFP domains including the complement regulator CD59 and the C-terminal domain of urokinase-type plasminogen activator. To infer orthology, a structure-based multiple sequence alignment of representative TFP family members was built and analyzed by phylogenetic methods. Prod1 has been proposed to be the salamander CD59 but our analysis fails to support this association. Prod1 is not a good match for any of the TFP families present in mammals and this result was further supported by the identification of the putative orthologs of both CD59 and N. viridescens Prod1 in sequence data for the salamander Ambystoma tigrinum. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The available data suggest that Prod1, and thereby its role in encoding PD identity, is restricted to salamanders. The lack of comparable limb-regenerative capability in other adult vertebrates could be

  19. Hindcasting Historical Breeding Conditions for an Endangered Salamander in Ephemeral Wetlands of the Southeastern USA: Implications of Climate Change.

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    Houston C Chandler

    Full Text Available The hydroperiod of ephemeral wetlands is often the most important characteristic determining amphibian breeding success, especially for species with long development times. In mesic and wet pine flatwoods of the southeastern United States, ephemeral wetlands were a common landscape feature. Reticulated flatwoods salamanders (Ambystoma bishopi, a federally endangered species, depend exclusively on ephemeral wetlands and require at least 11 weeks to successfully metamorphose into terrestrial adults. We empirically modeled hydroperiod of 17 A. bishopi breeding wetlands by combining downscaled historical climate-model data with a recent 9-year record (2006-2014 of observed water levels. Empirical models were subsequently used to reconstruct wetland hydrologic conditions from 1896-2014 using the downscaled historical climate datasets. Reconstructed hydroperiods for the 17 wetlands were highly variable through time but were frequently unfavorable for A. bishopi reproduction (e.g., only 61% of years, using a conservative estimate of development time [12 weeks], were conducive to larval development and metamorphosis. Using change-point analysis, we identified significant shifts in average hydroperiod over the last century in all 17 wetlands. Mean hydroperiods were shorter in recent years than at any other point since 1896, and thus less suitable for A. bishopi reproduction. We suggest that climate change will continue to impact the reproductive success of flatwoods salamanders and other ephemeral wetland breeders by reducing the number of years these wetlands have suitable hydroperiods. Consequently, we emphasize the importance of conservation and management for mitigating other forms of habitat degradation, especially maintenance of high quality breeding sites where reproduction can occur during appropriate environmental conditions.

  20. Genomic sequence of a ranavirus (family Iridoviridae) associated with salamander mortalities in North America

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jancovich, James K; Jinghe, Mao; Chinchar, V Gregory; Wyatt, Christopher; Case, Steven T; Kumar, Sudhir; Valente, Graziela; Subramanian, Sankar; Davidson, Elizabeth W; Collins, James P; Jacobs, Bertram L

    2003-11-10

    Disease is among the suspected causes of amphibian population declines, and an iridovirus and a chytrid fungus are the primary pathogens associated with amphibian mortalities. Ambystoma tigrinum virus (ATV) and a closely related strain, Regina ranavirus (RRV), are implicated in salamander die-offs in Arizona and Canada, respectively. We report the complete sequence of the ATV genome and partial sequence of the RRV genome. Sequence analysis of the ATV/RRV genomes showed marked similarity to other ranaviruses, including tiger frog virus (TFV) and frog virus 3 (FV3), the type virus of the genus Ranavirus (family Iridoviridae), as well as more distant relationships to lymphocystis disease virus, Chilo iridescent virus, and infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus. Putative open reading frames (ORFs) in the ATV sequence identified 24 genes that appear to control virus replication and block antiviral responses. In addition, >50 other putative genes, homologous to ORFs in other iridoviral genomes but of unknown function, were also identified. Sequence comparison performed by dot plot analysis between ATV and itself revealed a conserved 14-bp palindromic repeat within most intragenic regions. Dot plot analysis of ATV vs RRV sequences identified several polymorphisms between the two isolates. Finally, a comparison of ATV and TFV genomic sequences identified genomic rearrangements consistent with the high recombination frequency of iridoviruses. Given the adverse effects that ranavirus infections have on amphibian and fish populations, ATV/RRV sequence information will allow the design of better diagnostic probes for identifying ranavirus infections and extend our understanding of molecular events in ranavirus-infected cells.

  1. Diagnostic and molecular evaluation of three iridovirus-associated salamander mortality events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Docherty, D.E.; Meteyer, C.U.; Wang, Jingyuan; Mao, J.; Case, S.T.; Chinchar, V.G.

    2003-01-01

    In 1998 viruses were isolated from tiger salamander larvae (Ambystoma tigrinum diaboli and A. tigrinum melanostictum) involved in North Dakota and Utah (USA) mortality events and spotted salamander (A. maculatum) larvae in a third event in Maine (USA). Although sympatric caudates and anurans were present at all three sites only ambystomid larvae appeared to be affected. Mortality at the North Dakota site was in the thousands while at the Utah and Maine sites mortality was in the hundreds. Sick larvae were lethargic and slow moving. They swam in circles with obvious buoyancy problems and were unable to remain upright. On the ventral surface, near the gills and hind limbs, red spots or swollen areas were noted. Necropsy findings included: hemorrhages and ulceration of the skin, subcutaneous and intramuscular edema, swollen and pale livers with multifocal hemorrhage, and distended fluid-filled intestines with areas of hemorrhage. Light microscopy revealed intracytoplasmic inclusions, suggestive of a viral infection, in a variety of organs. Electron microscopy of ultra thin sections of the same tissues revealed iridovirus-like particles within the inclusions. These viruses were isolated from a variety of organs, indicating a systemic infection. Representative viral isolates from the three mortality events were characterized using molecular assays. Characterization confirmed that the viral isolates were iridoviruses and that the two tiger salamander isolates were similar and could be distinguished from the spotted salamander isolate. The spotted salamander isolate was similar to frog virus 3, the type species of the genus Ranavirus, while the tiger salamander isolates were not. These data indicate that different species of salamanders can become infected and die in association with different iridoviruses. Challenge assays are required to determine the fish and amphibian host range of these isolates and to assess the susceptibility of tiger and spotted salamanders to

  2. Interactions of an insecticide, herbicide, and natural stressors in amphibian community mesocosms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boone, M.D.; James, S.M.

    2003-01-01

    Amphibians developing in wetlands embedded within or near agricultural lands may frequently encounter chemical mixtures. The objectives of our study were to determine the effects that post-application concentrations of an insecticide (carbaryl) and an herbicide (atrazine) have on body mass, development, and survival of two anuran species (southern leopard frog, Rana sphenocephala; American toad, Bufo americanus) and two caudate species (spotted salamander, Ambystoma maculatum; small-mouthed salamander, A. texanum) reared in outdoor cattle tank mesocosms. In one experiment, we manipulated tadpole density (low or high), carbaryl exposure (0, 3.5, 7.0 mg/L), and atrazine exposure (0 or 200 μg/L) to test for effects on development, mass, and survival of larvae. In a second experiment, we manipulated pond hydroperiod (constant or drying), carbaryl exposure (0 or 5 mg/L), and atrazine exposure (0 or 200 μg/L) to test for effects on mass, time, and survival to metamorphosis. Salamanders were virtually eliminated in carbaryl treatments, indicating that at realistic levels, this insecticide could cause population declines for salamanders in contaminated habitats. Carbaryl also had negative effects on toad survival. Exposure to atrazine had negative effects on body size, development, and time to metamorphosis in anuran species, which were associated with reduced chlorophyll levels. Both chemicals interacted significantly with density or hydroperiod, indicating that the environmental conditions could influence the impact of a contaminant. A significant atrazine-by-carbaryl interaction resulted in smaller and less developed spotted salamander larvae than in control ponds. Atrazine exposure, however, appeared to moderate negative effects of carbaryl for spotted salamanders. Our research suggests that important changes in the community's food web result from chemical exposure, which influence the susceptibility of amphibian species to contaminants.

  3. Functional characterization of the vertebrate primary ureter: Structure and ion transport mechanisms of the pronephric duct in axolotl larvae (Amphibia

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    Prehn Lea R

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Three kidney systems appear during vertebrate development: the pronephroi, mesonephroi and metanephroi. The pronephric duct is the first or primary ureter of these kidney systems. Its role as a key player in the induction of nephrogenic mesenchyme is well established. Here we investigate whether the duct is involved in urine modification using larvae of the freshwater amphibian Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl as model. Results We investigated structural as well as physiological properties of the pronephric duct. The key elements of our methodology were: using histology, light and transmission electron microscopy as well as confocal laser scanning microscopy on fixed tissue and applying the microperfusion technique on isolated pronephric ducts in combination with single cell microelectrode impalements. Our data show that the fully differentiated pronephric duct is composed of a single layered epithelium consisting of one cell type comparable to the principal cell of the renal collecting duct system. The cells are characterized by a prominent basolateral labyrinth and a relatively smooth apical surface with one central cilium. Cellular impalements demonstrate the presence of apical Na+ and K+ conductances, as well as a large K+ conductance in the basolateral cell membrane. Immunolabeling experiments indicate heavy expression of Na+/K+-ATPase in the basolateral labyrinth. Conclusions We propose that the pronephric duct is important for the subsequent modification of urine produced by the pronephros. Our results indicate that it reabsorbs sodium and secretes potassium via channels present in the apical cell membrane with the driving force for ion movement provided by the Na+/K+ pump. This is to our knowledge the first characterization of the pronephric duct, the precursor of the collecting duct system, which provides a model of cell structure and basic mechanisms for ion transport. Such information may be important in understanding

  4. De novo transcriptome sequencing of axolotl blastema for identification of differentially expressed genes during limb regeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Salamanders are unique among vertebrates in their ability to completely regenerate amputated limbs through the mediation of blastema cells located at the stump ends. This regeneration is nerve-dependent because blastema formation and regeneration does not occur after limb denervation. To obtain the genomic information of blastema tissues, de novo transcriptomes from both blastema tissues and denervated stump ends of Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotls) 14 days post-amputation were sequenced and compared using Solexa DNA sequencing. Results The sequencing done for this study produced 40,688,892 reads that were assembled into 307,345 transcribed sequences. The N50 of transcribed sequence length was 562 bases. A similarity search with known proteins identified 39,200 different genes to be expressed during limb regeneration with a cut-off E-value exceeding 10-5. We annotated assembled sequences by using gene descriptions, gene ontology, and clusters of orthologous group terms. Targeted searches using these annotations showed that the majority of the genes were in the categories of essential metabolic pathways, transcription factors and conserved signaling pathways, and novel candidate genes for regenerative processes. We discovered and confirmed numerous sequences of the candidate genes by using quantitative polymerase chain reaction and in situ hybridization. Conclusion The results of this study demonstrate that de novo transcriptome sequencing allows gene expression analysis in a species lacking genome information and provides the most comprehensive mRNA sequence resources for axolotls. The characterization of the axolotl transcriptome can help elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying blastema formation during limb regeneration. PMID:23815514

  5. Microarray Analysis of microRNA Expression during Axolotl Limb Regeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holman, Edna C.; Campbell, Leah J.; Hines, John; Crews, Craig M.

    2012-01-01

    Among vertebrates, salamanders stand out for their remarkable capacity to quickly regrow a myriad of tissues and organs after injury or amputation. The limb regeneration process in axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) has been well studied for decades at the cell-tissue level. While several developmental genes are known to be reactivated during this epimorphic process, less is known about the role of microRNAs in urodele amphibian limb regeneration. Given the compelling evidence that many microRNAs tightly regulate cell fate and morphogenetic processes through development and adulthood by modulating the expression (or re-expression) of developmental genes, we investigated the possibility that microRNA levels change during limb regeneration. Using two different microarray platforms to compare the axolotl microRNA expression between mid-bud limb regenerating blastemas and non-regenerating stump tissues, we found that miR-21 was overexpressed in mid-bud blastemas compared to stump tissue. Mature A. mexicanum (“Amex”) miR-21 was detected in axolotl RNA by Northern blot and differential expression of Amex-miR-21 in blastema versus stump was confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR. We identified the Amex Jagged1 as a putative target gene for miR-21 during salamander limb regeneration. We cloned the full length 3′UTR of Amex-Jag1, and our in vitro assays demonstrated that its single miR-21 target recognition site is functional and essential for the response of the Jagged1 gene to miR-21 levels. Our findings pave the road for advanced in vivo functional assays aimed to clarify how microRNAs such as miR-21, often linked to pathogenic cell growth, might be modulating the redeployment of developmental genes such as Jagged1 during regenerative processes. PMID:23028429

  6. Transcriptome dynamics along axolotl regenerative development are consistent with an extensive reduction in gene expression heterogeneity in dedifferentiated cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Although in recent years the study of gene expression variation in the absence of genetic or environmental cues or gene expression heterogeneity has intensified considerably, many basic and applied biological fields still remain unaware of how useful the study of gene expression heterogeneity patterns might be for the characterization of biological systems and/or processes. Largely based on the modulator effect chromatin compaction has for gene expression heterogeneity and the extensive changes in chromatin compaction known to occur for specialized cells that are naturally or artificially induced to revert to less specialized states or dedifferentiate, I recently hypothesized that processes that concur with cell dedifferentiation would show an extensive reduction in gene expression heterogeneity. The confirmation of the existence of such trend could be of wide interest because of the biomedical and biotechnological relevance of cell dedifferentiation-based processes, i.e., regenerative development, cancer, human induced pluripotent stem cells, or plant somatic embryogenesis. Here, I report the first empirical evidence consistent with the existence of an extensive reduction in gene expression heterogeneity for processes that concur with cell dedifferentiation by analyzing transcriptome dynamics along forearm regenerative development in Ambystoma mexicanum or axolotl. Also, I briefly discuss on the utility of the study of gene expression heterogeneity dynamics might have for the characterization of cell dedifferentiation-based processes, and the engineering of tools that afforded better monitoring and modulating such processes. Finally, I reflect on how a transitional reduction in gene expression heterogeneity for dedifferentiated cells can promote a long-term increase in phenotypic heterogeneity following cell dedifferentiation with potential adverse effects for biomedical and biotechnological applications. PMID:29134148

  7. Retrotransposon long interspersed nucleotide element-1 (LINE-1) is activated during salamander limb regeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Wei; Kuo, Dwight; Nathanson, Jason; Satoh, Akira; Pao, Gerald M.; Yeo, Gene W.; Bryant, Susan V.; Voss, S. Randal; Gardiner, David M.; Hunter, Tony

    2012-01-01

    Salamanders possess an extraordinary capacity for tissue and organ regeneration when compared to mammals. In our effort to characterize the unique transcriptional fingerprint emerging during the early phase of salamander limb regeneration, we identified transcriptional activation of some germline-specific genes within the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) that is indicative of cellular reprogramming of differentiated cells into a germline-like state. In this work, we focus on one of these genes, the long interspersed nucleotide element-1 (LINE-1) retrotransposon, which is usually active in germ cells and silent in most of the somatic tissues in other organisms. LINE-1 was found to be dramatically upregulated during regeneration. In addition, higher genomic LINE-1 content was also detected in the limb regenerate when compared to that before amputation indicating that LINE-1 retrotransposition is indeed active during regeneration. Active LINE-1 retrotransposition has been suggested to have a potentially deleterious impact on genomic integrity. Silencing of activated LINE-1 by small RNAs has been reported to be part of the machinery aiming to maintain genomic integrity. Indeed, we were able to identify putative LINE-1-related piRNAs in the limb blastema. Transposable element-related piRNAs have been identified frequently in the germline in other organisms. Thus, we present here a scenario in which a unique germline-like state is established during axolotl limb regeneration, and the re-activation of LINE-1 may serve as a marker for cellular dedifferentiation in the early-stage of limb regeneration. PMID:22913491

  8. Microarray analysis of microRNA expression during axolotl limb regeneration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edna C Holman

    Full Text Available Among vertebrates, salamanders stand out for their remarkable capacity to quickly regrow a myriad of tissues and organs after injury or amputation. The limb regeneration process in axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum has been well studied for decades at the cell-tissue level. While several developmental genes are known to be reactivated during this epimorphic process, less is known about the role of microRNAs in urodele amphibian limb regeneration. Given the compelling evidence that many microRNAs tightly regulate cell fate and morphogenetic processes through development and adulthood by modulating the expression (or re-expression of developmental genes, we investigated the possibility that microRNA levels change during limb regeneration. Using two different microarray platforms to compare the axolotl microRNA expression between mid-bud limb regenerating blastemas and non-regenerating stump tissues, we found that miR-21 was overexpressed in mid-bud blastemas compared to stump tissue. Mature A. mexicanum ("Amex" miR-21 was detected in axolotl RNA by Northern blot and differential expression of Amex-miR-21 in blastema versus stump was confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR. We identified the Amex Jagged1 as a putative target gene for miR-21 during salamander limb regeneration. We cloned the full length 3'UTR of Amex-Jag1, and our in vitro assays demonstrated that its single miR-21 target recognition site is functional and essential for the response of the Jagged1 gene to miR-21 levels. Our findings pave the road for advanced in vivo functional assays aimed to clarify how microRNAs such as miR-21, often linked to pathogenic cell growth, might be modulating the redeployment of developmental genes such as Jagged1 during regenerative processes.

  9. Microarray and cDNA sequence analysis of transcription during nerve-dependent limb regeneration

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    Bryant Susan V

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microarray analysis and 454 cDNA sequencing were used to investigate a centuries-old problem in regenerative biology: the basis of nerve-dependent limb regeneration in salamanders. Innervated (NR and denervated (DL forelimbs of Mexican axolotls were amputated and transcripts were sampled after 0, 5, and 14 days of regeneration. Results Considerable similarity was observed between NR and DL transcriptional programs at 5 and 14 days post amputation (dpa. Genes with extracellular functions that are critical to wound healing were upregulated while muscle-specific genes were downregulated. Thus, many processes that are regulated during early limb regeneration do not depend upon nerve-derived factors. The majority of the transcriptional differences between NR and DL limbs were correlated with blastema formation; cell numbers increased in NR limbs after 5 dpa and this yielded distinct transcriptional signatures of cell proliferation in NR limbs at 14 dpa. These transcriptional signatures were not observed in DL limbs. Instead, gene expression changes within DL limbs suggest more diverse and protracted wound-healing responses. 454 cDNA sequencing complemented the microarray analysis by providing deeper sampling of transcriptional programs and associated biological processes. Assembly of new 454 cDNA sequences with existing expressed sequence tag (EST contigs from the Ambystoma EST database more than doubled (3935 to 9411 the number of non-redundant human-A. mexicanum orthologous sequences. Conclusion Many new candidate gene sequences were discovered for the first time and these will greatly enable future studies of wound healing, epigenetics, genome stability, and nerve-dependent blastema formation and outgrowth using the axolotl model.

  10. Characterizing the width of amphibian movements during postbreeding migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coster, Stephanie S; Veysey Powell, Jessica S; Babbitt, Kimberly J

    2014-06-01

    Habitat linkages can help maintain connectivity of animal populations in developed landscapes. However, the lack of empirical data on the width of lateral movements (i.e., the zigzagging of individuals as they move from one point to point another) makes determining the width of such linkages challenging. We used radiotracking data from wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) and spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) in a managed forest in Maine (U.S.A.) to characterize movement patterns of populations and thus inform planning for the width of wildlife corridors. For each individual, we calculated the polar coordinates of all locations, estimated the vector sum of the polar coordinates, and measured the distance from each location to the vector sum. By fitting a Gaussian distribution over a histogram of these distances, we created a population-level probability density function and estimated the 50th and 95th percentiles to determine the width of lateral movement as individuals progressed from the pond to upland habitat. For spotted salamanders 50% of lateral movements were ≤13 m wide and 95% of movements were ≤39 m wide. For wood frogs, 50% of lateral movements were ≤17 m wide and 95% of movements were ≤ 51 m wide. For both species, those individuals that traveled the farthest from the pond also displayed the greatest lateral movement. Our results serve as a foundation for spatially explicit conservation planning for pond-breeding amphibians in areas undergoing development. Our technique can also be applied to movement data from other taxa to aid in designing habitat linkages. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  11. Reducing bias in population and landscape genetic inferences: the effects of sampling related individuals and multiple life stages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Peterman

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In population or landscape genetics studies, an unbiased sampling scheme is essential for generating accurate results, but logistics may lead to deviations from the sample design. Such deviations may come in the form of sampling multiple life stages. Presently, it is largely unknown what effect sampling different life stages can have on population or landscape genetic inference, or how mixing life stages can affect the parameters being measured. Additionally, the removal of siblings from a data set is considered best-practice, but direct comparisons of inferences made with and without siblings are limited. In this study, we sampled embryos, larvae, and adult Ambystoma maculatum from five ponds in Missouri, and analyzed them at 15 microsatellite loci. We calculated allelic richness, heterozygosity and effective population sizes for each life stage at each pond and tested for genetic differentiation (FST and DC and isolation-by-distance (IBD among ponds. We tested for differences in each of these measures between life stages, and in a pooled population of all life stages. All calculations were done with and without sibling pairs to assess the effect of sibling removal. We also assessed the effect of reducing the number of microsatellites used to make inference. No statistically significant differences were found among ponds or life stages for any of the population genetic measures, but patterns of IBD differed among life stages. There was significant IBD when using adult samples, but tests using embryos, larvae, or a combination of the three life stages were not significant. We found that increasing the ratio of larval or embryo samples in the analysis of genetic distance weakened the IBD relationship, and when using DC, the IBD was no longer significant when larvae and embryos exceeded 60% of the population sample. Further, power to detect an IBD relationship was reduced when fewer microsatellites were used in the analysis.

  12. From fish to modern humans – comparative anatomy, homologies and evolution of the pectoral and forelimb musculature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diogo, R; Abdala, V; Aziz, M A; Lonergan, N; Wood, B A

    2009-01-01

    In a recent study Diogo & Abdala [(2007) JMorphol268, 504–517] reported the results of the first part of a research project on the comparative anatomy, homologies and evolution of the pectoral muscles of osteichthyans (bony fish and tetrapods). That report mainly focused on actinopterygian fish but also compared these fish with certain non-mammalian sarcopterygians. This study, which reports the second part of the research project, focuses mainly on sarcopterygians and particularly on how the pectoral and forelimb muscles have evolved during the transitions from sarcopterygian fish and non-mammalian tetrapods to monotreme and therian mammals and humans. The data obtained by our own dissections of all the pectoral and forelimb muscles of representative members of groups as diverse as sarcopterygian fish, amphibians, reptiles, monotremes and therian mammals such as rodents, tree-shrews, colugos and primates, including humans, are compared with the information available in the literature. Our observations and comparisons clearly stress that, with regard to the number of pectoral and forelimb muscles, the most striking transition within sarcopterygian evolutionary history was that leading to the origin of tetrapods. Whereas extant sarcopterygian fish have an abductor and adductor of the fin and a largely undifferentiated hypaxial and epaxial musculature, extant salamanders such as Ambystoma have more than 40 pectoral and forelimb muscles. There is no clear increase in the number of pectoral and forelimb muscles within the evolutionary transition that led to the origin of mammals and surely not to that leading to the origin of primates and humans. PMID:19438764

  13. Interactive effects of wildfire, forest management, and isolation on amphibian and parasite abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R.; Corn, P. Stephen; Winsor H. Lowe,; R. Kenneth Honeycutt,; Sean A. Parks,

    2013-01-01

    Projected increases in wildfire and other climate-driven disturbances will affect populations and communities worldwide, including host–parasite relationships. Research in temperate forests has shown that wildfire can negatively affect amphibians, but this research has occurred primarily outside of managed landscapes where interactions with human disturbances could result in additive or synergistic effects. Furthermore, parasites represent a large component of biodiversity and can affect host fitness and population dynamics, yet they are rarely included in studies of how vertebrate hosts respond to disturbance. To determine how wildfire affects amphibians and their parasites, and whether effects differ between protected and managed landscapes, we compared abundance of two amphibians and two nematodes relative to wildfire extent and severity around wetlands in neighboring protected and managed forests (Montana, USA). Population sizes of adult, male long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) decreased with increased burn severity, with stronger negative effects on isolated populations and in managed forests. In contrast, breeding population sizes of Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) increased with burn extent in both protected and managed protected forests. Path analysis showed that the effects of wildfire on the two species of nematodes were consistent with differences in their life history and transmission strategies and the responses of their hosts. Burn severity indirectly reduced abundance of soil-transmitted Cosmocercoides variabilis through reductions in salamander abundance. Burn severity also directly reduced C. variabilis abundance, possibly though changes in soil conditions. For the aquatically transmitted nematode Gyrinicola batrachiensis, the positive effect of burn extent on density of Columbia spotted frog larvae indirectly increased parasite abundance. Our results show that effects of wildfire on amphibians depend upon burn extent

  14. Informing recovery in a human-transformed landscape: Drought-mediated coexistence alters population trends of an imperiled salamander and invasive predators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R.; Honeycutt, Richard; Sigafus, Brent H.; Muths, Erin L.; Crawford, Catherine L.; Jones, Thomas R.; Sorensen, Jeff A.; Rorabaugh, James C.; Chambert, Thierry

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the additive or interactive threats of habitat transformation and invasive species is critical for conservation, especially where climate change is expected to increase the severity or frequency of drought. In the arid southwestern USA, this combination of stressors has caused widespread declines of native aquatic and semi-aquatic species. Achieving resilience to drought and other effects of climate change may depend upon continued management, so understanding the combined effects of stressors is important. We used Bayesian hierarchical models fitted with 10-years of pond-based monitoring surveys for the federally-endangered Sonoran Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium stebbinsi) and invasive predators (fishes and American Bullfrogs, Lithobates catesbeianus) that threaten native species. We estimated trends in occupancy of salamanders and invasive predators while accounting for hydrological dynamics of ponds, then used a two-species interaction model to directly estimate how invasive predators affected salamander occupancy. We also tested a conceptual model that predicted that drought, by limiting the distribution of invasive predators, could ultimately benefit native species. Even though occupancy of invasive predators was stationary and their presence in a pond reduced the probability of salamander presence by 23%, occupancy of Sonoran Tiger Salamanders increased, annually, by 2.2%. Occupancy of salamanders and invasive predators both declined dramatically following the 5th consecutive year of drought. Salamander occupancy recovered quickly after return to non-drought conditions, while occupancy of invasive predators remained suppressed. Models that incorporated three time-lagged periods (1 to 4 years) of local moisture conditions confirmed that salamanders and invasive predators responded differently to drought, reflecting how life-history strategies shape responses to disturbances. The positive 10-year trend in salamander occupancy and their

  15. Rapid increases and time-lagged declines in amphibian occupancy after wildfire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R; Lowe, Winsor H; Corn, Paul Stephen

    2013-02-01

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and severity of drought and wildfire. Aquatic and moisture-sensitive species, such as amphibians, may be particularly vulnerable to these modified disturbance regimes because large wildfires often occur during extended droughts and thus may compound environmental threats. However, understanding of the effects of wildfires on amphibians in forests with long fire-return intervals is limited. Numerous stand-replacing wildfires have occurred since 1988 in Glacier National Park (Montana, U.S.A.), where we have conducted long-term monitoring of amphibians. We measured responses of 3 amphibian species to fires of different sizes, severity, and age in a small geographic area with uniform management. We used data from wetlands associated with 6 wildfires that burned between 1988 and 2003 to evaluate whether burn extent and severity and interactions between wildfire and wetland isolation affected the distribution of breeding populations. We measured responses with models that accounted for imperfect detection to estimate occupancy during prefire (0-4 years) and different postfire recovery periods. For the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris), occupancy was not affected for 6 years after wildfire. But 7-21 years after wildfire, occupancy for both species decreased ≥ 25% in areas where >50% of the forest within 500 m of wetlands burned. In contrast, occupancy of the boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas) tripled in the 3 years after low-elevation forests burned. This increase in occupancy was followed by a gradual decline. Our results show that accounting for magnitude of change and time lags is critical to understanding population dynamics of amphibians after large disturbances. Our results also inform understanding of the potential threat of increases in wildfire frequency or severity to amphibians in the region. ©2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

  16. Genomic sequence of a ranavirus (family Iridoviridae) associated with salamander mortalities in North America

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jancovich, James K.; Mao Jinghe; Chinchar, V. Gregory; Wyatt, Christopher; Case, Steven T.; Kumar, Sudhir; Valente, Graziela; Subramanian, Sankar; Davidson, Elizabeth W.; Collins, James P.; Jacobs, Bertram L.

    2003-01-01

    Disease is among the suspected causes of amphibian population declines, and an iridovirus and a chytrid fungus are the primary pathogens associated with amphibian mortalities. Ambystoma tigrinum virus (ATV) and a closely related strain, Regina ranavirus (RRV), are implicated in salamander die-offs in Arizona and Canada, respectively. We report the complete sequence of the ATV genome and partial sequence of the RRV genome. Sequence analysis of the ATV/RRV genomes showed marked similarity to other ranaviruses, including tiger frog virus (TFV) and frog virus 3 (FV3), the type virus of the genus Ranavirus (family Iridoviridae), as well as more distant relationships to lymphocystis disease virus, Chilo iridescent virus, and infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus. Putative open reading frames (ORFs) in the ATV sequence identified 24 genes that appear to control virus replication and block antiviral responses. In addition, >50 other putative genes, homologous to ORFs in other iridoviral genomes but of unknown function, were also identified. Sequence comparison performed by dot plot analysis between ATV and itself revealed a conserved 14-bp palindromic repeat within most intragenic regions. Dot plot analysis of ATV vs RRV sequences identified several polymorphisms between the two isolates. Finally, a comparison of ATV and TFV genomic sequences identified genomic rearrangements consistent with the high recombination frequency of iridoviruses. Given the adverse effects that ranavirus infections have on amphibian and fish populations, ATV/RRV sequence information will allow the design of better diagnostic probes for identifying ranavirus infections and extend our understanding of molecular events in ranavirus-infected cells

  17. Impact of forestry practices at a landscape scale on the dynamics of amphibian populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, Elizabeth B; Patrick, David A; Gibbs, James P

    2015-12-01

    Forest loss is a primary cause of worldwide amphibian decline. Timber harvesting in the United States has caused dramatic changes in quality and extent of forest ecosystems, and intensive forest management still occurs. Although numerous studies have documented substantial reductions in amphibian densities related to timber harvest, subsequent extinctions are rare. To better understand the population dynamics that have allowed so many amphibian species to persist in the face of widespread forest disturbance, we developed spatially explicit metapopulation models for four forest-dependent amphibian species (Lithobates sylvaticus, Ambystoma opacum, A. talpoideum, and A. maculatum) that incorporated demographic and habitat selection data derived from experiments conducted as part of the Land Use Effects on Amphibian Populations Project (LEAP). We projected local and landscape-scale population persistence under 108 different forestry practice scenarios, varying treatment (partial cut, clear-cut with coarse woody debris [CWD] removed, and clearcut with CWD retained), cut patch size (1, 10, or 50 ha), total area cut (10, 20, or 30%), and initial amphibian population size (5, 50, or 500 adult females per local breeding population). Under these scenarios, landscape-scale extinction was highly unlikely, occurring in amphibian populations in the United States should focus not on questions of landscape-scale extinction but on the ecological consequences of dramatic reductions in amphibian biomass, including changes in trophic interactions, nutrient cycling, and energy transfer. Additionally, we conclude that amphibian declines and extinctions are far more likely to occur as a result of permanent habitat loss resulting from development than from the temporary degradation of habitat caused by current forestry practices.

  18. Phylogenetic analysis of algal symbionts associated with four North American amphibian egg masses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eunsoo Kim

    Full Text Available Egg masses of the yellow-spotted salamander Ambystoma maculatum form an association with the green alga "Oophila amblystomatis" (Lambert ex Wille, which, in addition to growing within individual egg capsules, has recently been reported to invade embryonic tissues and cells. The binomial O. amblystomatis refers to the algae that occur in A. maculatum egg capsules, but it is unknown whether this population of symbionts constitutes one or several different algal taxa. Moreover, it is unknown whether egg masses across the geographic range of A. maculatum, or other amphibians, associate with one or multiple algal taxa. To address these questions, we conducted a phylogeographic study of algae sampled from egg capsules of A. maculatum, its allopatric congener A. gracile, and two frogs: Lithobates sylvatica and L. aurora. All of these North American amphibians form associations with algae in their egg capsules. We sampled algae from egg capsules of these four amphibians from localities across North America, established representative algal cultures, and amplified and sequenced a region of 18S rDNA for phylogenetic analysis. Our combined analysis shows that symbiotic algae found in egg masses of four North American amphibians are closely related to each other, and form a well-supported clade that also contains three strains of free-living chlamydomonads. We designate this group as the 'Oophila' clade, within which the symbiotic algae are further divided into four distinct subclades. Phylogenies of the host amphibians and their algal symbionts are only partially congruent, suggesting that host-switching and co-speciation both play roles in their associations. We also established conditions for isolating and rearing algal symbionts from amphibian egg capsules, which should facilitate further study of these egg mass specialist algae.

  19. Propulsive forces of mudskipper fins and salamander limbs during terrestrial locomotion: implications for the invasion of land.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawano, Sandy M; Blob, Richard W

    2013-08-01

    The invasion of land was a pivotal event in vertebrate evolution that was associated with major appendicular modifications. Although fossils indicate that the evolution of fundamentally limb-like appendages likely occurred in aquatic environments, the functional consequences of using early digited limbs, rather than fins, for terrestrial propulsion have had little empirical investigation. Paleontological and experimental analyses both have led to the proposal of an early origin of "hind limb-driven" locomotion among tetrapods or their ancestors. However, the retention of a pectoral appendage that had already developed terrestrial adaptations has been proposed for some taxa, and few data are available from extant functional models that can provide a foundation for evaluating the relative contributions of pectoral and pelvic appendages to terrestrial support among early stem tetrapods. To examine these aspects of vertebrate locomotor evolution during the invasion of land, we measured three-dimensional ground reaction forces (GRFs) produced by isolated pectoral fins of mudskipper fishes (Periophthalmus barbarus) during terrestrial crutching, and compared these to isolated walking footfalls by the forelimbs and hind limbs of tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum), a species with subequally-sized limbs that facilitate comparisons to early tetrapods. Pectoral appendages of salamanders and mudskippers exhibited numerous differences in GRFs. Compared with salamander forelimbs, isolated fins of mudskippers bear lower vertical magnitudes of GRFs (as a proportion of body weight), and had GRFs that were oriented more medially. Comparing the salamanders' forelimbs and hind limbs, although the peak net GRF occurs later in stance for the forelimb, both limbs experience nearly identical mediolateral and vertical components of GRF, suggesting comparable contributions to support. Thus, forelimbs could also have played a significant locomotor role among basal tetrapods that had limbs

  20. Predictors of breeding site occupancy by amphibians in montane landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groff, Luke A.; Loftin, Cynthia S.; Calhoun, Aram J.K.

    2017-01-01

    Ecological relationships and processes vary across species’ geographic distributions, life stages and spatial, and temporal scales. Montane landscapes are characterized by low wetland densities, rugged topographies, and cold climates. Consequently, aquatic-dependent and low-vagility ectothermic species (e.g., pool-breeding amphibians) may exhibit unique ecological associations in montane landscapes. We evaluated the relative importance of breeding- and landscape-scale features associated with spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) and wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) wetland occupancy in Maine's Upper Montane-Alpine Zone ecoregion, and we determined whether models performed better when the inclusive landscape-scale covariates were estimated with topography-weighted or circular buffers. We surveyed 135 potential breeding sites during May 2013–June 2014 and evaluated environmental relationships with multi-season implicit dynamics occupancy models. Breeding site occupancy by both species was influenced solely by breeding-scale habitat features. Spotted salamander occupancy probabilities increased with previous or current beaver (Castor canadensis) presence, and models generally were better supported when the inclusive landscape-scale covariates were estimated with topography-weighted rather than circular buffers. Wood frog occupancy probabilities increased with site area and percent shallows, but neither buffer type was better supported than the other. Model rank order and support varied between buffer types, but model inferences did not. Our results suggest pool-breeding amphibian conservation in montane Maine include measures to maintain beaver populations and large wetlands with proportionally large areas of shallows ≤1-m deep. Inconsistencies between our study and previous studies substantiate the value of region-specific research for augmenting species’ conservation management plans and suggest the application of out-of-region inferences may promote

  1. Decadal changes in phenology of peak abundance patterns of woodland pond salamanders in northern Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donner, Deahn M.; Ribic, Christine; Beck, Albert J.; Higgins, Dale; Eklund, Dan; Reinecke, Susan

    2015-01-01

    Woodland ponds are important landscape features that help sustain populations of amphibians that require this aquatic habitat for successful reproduction. Species abundance patterns often reflect site-specific differences in hydrology, physical characteristics, and surrounding vegetation. Large-scale processes such as changing land cover and environmental conditions are other potential drivers influencing amphibian populations in the Upper Midwest, but little information exists on the combined effects of these factors. We used Blue-spotted (Ambystoma laterale Hallowell) and Spotted Salamander (A. maculatum Shaw) monitoring data collected at the same woodland ponds thirteen years apart to determine if changing environmental conditions and vegetation cover in surrounding landscapes influenced salamander movement phenology and abundance. Four woodland ponds in northern Wisconsin were sampled for salamanders in April 1992-1994 and 2005-2007. While Blue-spotted Salamanders were more abundant than Spotted Salamanders in all ponds, there was no change in the numbers of either species over the years. However, peak numbers of Blue-spotted Salamanders occurred 11.7 days earlier (range: 9-14 days) in the 2000s compared to the 1990s; Spotted Salamanders occurred 9.5 days earlier (range: 3 - 13 days). Air and water temperatures (April 13- 24) increased, on average, 4.8°C and 3.7°C, respectively, between the decades regardless of pond. There were no discernible changes in canopy openness in surrounding forests between decades that would have warmed the water sooner (i.e., more light penetration). Our finding that salamander breeding phenology can vary by roughly 10 days in Wisconsin contributes to growing evidence that amphibian populations have responded to changing climate conditions by shifting life-cycle events. Managers can use this information to adjust monitoring programs and forest management activities in the surrounding landscape to avoid vulnerable amphibian

  2. Musashi and Plasticity of Xenopus and Axolotl Spinal Cord Ependymal Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellen A. G. Chernoff

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The differentiated state of spinal cord ependymal cells in regeneration-competent amphibians varies between a constitutively active state in what is essentially a developing organism, the tadpole of the frog Xenopus laevis, and a quiescent, activatable state in a slowly growing adult salamander Ambystoma mexicanum, the Axolotl. Ependymal cells are epithelial in intact spinal cord of all vertebrates. After transection, body region ependymal epithelium in both Xenopus and the Axolotl disorganizes for regenerative outgrowth (gap replacement. Injury-reactive ependymal cells serve as a stem/progenitor cell population in regeneration and reconstruct the central canal. Expression patterns of mRNA and protein for the stem/progenitor cell-maintenance Notch signaling pathway mRNA-binding protein Musashi (msi change with life stage and regeneration competence. Msi-1 is missing (immunohistochemistry, or at very low levels (polymerase chain reaction, PCR, in both intact regeneration-competent adult Axolotl cord and intact non-regeneration-competent Xenopus tadpole (Nieuwkoop and Faber stage 62+, NF 62+. The critical correlation for successful regeneration is msi-1 expression/upregulation after injury in the ependymal outgrowth and stump-region ependymal cells. msi-1 and msi-2 isoforms were cloned for the Axolotl as well as previously unknown isoforms of Xenopus msi-2. Intact Xenopus spinal cord ependymal cells show a loss of msi-1 expression between regeneration-competent (NF 50–53 and non-regenerating stages (NF 62+ and in post-metamorphosis froglets, while msi-2 displays a lower molecular weight isoform in non-regenerating cord. In the Axolotl, embryos and juveniles maintain Msi-1 expression in the intact cord. In the adult Axolotl, Msi-1 is absent, but upregulates after injury. Msi-2 levels are more variable among Axolotl life stages: rising between late tailbud embryos and juveniles and decreasing in adult cord. Cultures of regeneration

  3. Analysis of embryonic development in the unsequenced axolotl: waves of transcriptomic upheaval and stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Peng; Nelson, Jeffrey D.; Leng, Ning; Collins, Michael; Swanson, Scott; Dewey, Colin N.; Thomson, James A.; Stewart, Ron

    2016-01-01

    The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) has long been the subject of biological research, primarily owing to its outstanding regenerative capabilities. However, the gene expression programs governing its embryonic development are particularly underexplored, especially when compared to other amphibian model species. Therefore, we performed whole transcriptome polyA+ RNA sequencing experiments on 17 stages of embryonic development. As the axolotl genome is unsequenced and its gene annotation is incomplete, we built de novo transcriptome assemblies for each stage and garnered functional annotation by comparing expressed contigs with known genes in other organisms. In evaluating the number of differentially expressed genes over time, we identify three waves of substantial transcriptome upheaval each followed by a period of relative transcriptome stability. The first wave of upheaval is between the one and two cell stage. We show that the number of differentially expressed genes per unit time is higher between the one and two cell stage than it is across the mid-blastula transition (MBT), the period of zygotic genome activation. We use total RNA sequencing to demonstrate that the vast majority of genes with increasing polyA+ signal between the one and two cell stage result from polyadenylation rather than de novo transcription. The first stable phase begins after the two cell stage and continues until the mid-blastula transition, corresponding with the pre-MBT phase of transcriptional quiescence in amphibian development. Following this is a peak of differential gene expression corresponding with the activation of the zygotic genome and a phase of transcriptomic stability from stages 9 to 11. We observe a third wave of transcriptomic change between stages 11 and 14, followed by a final stable period. The last two stable phases have not been documented in amphibians previously and correspond to times of major morphogenic change in the axolotl embryo: gastrulation and

  4. Musashi and Plasticity of Xenopus and Axolotl Spinal Cord Ependymal Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chernoff, Ellen A. G.; Sato, Kazuna; Salfity, Hai V. N.; Sarria, Deborah A.; Belecky-Adams, Teri

    2018-01-01

    The differentiated state of spinal cord ependymal cells in regeneration-competent amphibians varies between a constitutively active state in what is essentially a developing organism, the tadpole of the frog Xenopus laevis, and a quiescent, activatable state in a slowly growing adult salamander Ambystoma mexicanum, the Axolotl. Ependymal cells are epithelial in intact spinal cord of all vertebrates. After transection, body region ependymal epithelium in both Xenopus and the Axolotl disorganizes for regenerative outgrowth (gap replacement). Injury-reactive ependymal cells serve as a stem/progenitor cell population in regeneration and reconstruct the central canal. Expression patterns of mRNA and protein for the stem/progenitor cell-maintenance Notch signaling pathway mRNA-binding protein Musashi (msi) change with life stage and regeneration competence. Msi-1 is missing (immunohistochemistry), or at very low levels (polymerase chain reaction, PCR), in both intact regeneration-competent adult Axolotl cord and intact non-regeneration-competent Xenopus tadpole (Nieuwkoop and Faber stage 62+, NF 62+). The critical correlation for successful regeneration is msi-1 expression/upregulation after injury in the ependymal outgrowth and stump-region ependymal cells. msi-1 and msi-2 isoforms were cloned for the Axolotl as well as previously unknown isoforms of Xenopus msi-2. Intact Xenopus spinal cord ependymal cells show a loss of msi-1 expression between regeneration-competent (NF 50–53) and non-regenerating stages (NF 62+) and in post-metamorphosis froglets, while msi-2 displays a lower molecular weight isoform in non-regenerating cord. In the Axolotl, embryos and juveniles maintain Msi-1 expression in the intact cord. In the adult Axolotl, Msi-1 is absent, but upregulates after injury. Msi-2 levels are more variable among Axolotl life stages: rising between late tailbud embryos and juveniles and decreasing in adult cord. Cultures of regeneration-competent Xenopus tadpole

  5. 2010 Dry and 2009 - 2010 Wet Season Branchiopod Survey Report, Site 300

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dexter, W

    2011-03-14

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) requested that Condor Country Consulting, Inc. (CCCI) perform wet season surveys and manage the dry season sampling for listed branchiopods in two ponded locations within the Site 300 Experimental Test Site. Site 300 is located in Alameda and San Joaquin Counties, located between the Cities of Livermore and Tracy. The two pool locations have been identified for possible amphibian enhancement activities in support of the Compensation Plan for impacts tied to the Building 850 soil clean-up project. The Building 850 project design resulted in formal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as an amendment (File 81420-2009-F-0235) to the site-wide Biological Opinion (BO) (File 1-1-02-F-0062) in the spring of 2009 and requires mitigation for the California tiger salamander (AMCA, Ambystoma californiense) and California red-legged frog (CRLF, Rana draytonii) habitat loss. Both pools contain breeding AMCA, but do not produce metamorphs due to limited hydroperiod. The pool to the southeast (Pool BC-FS-2) is the preferred site for amphibian enhancement activities, and the wetland to northwest (Pool OA-FS-1) is the alternate location for enhancement. However, prior to enhancement, LLNL has been directed by USFWS (BO Conservation Measure 17 iii) to 'conduct USFWS protocol-level branchiopod surveys to determine whether listed brachiopod species are present within the compensation area.' CCCI conducted surveys for listed branchiopods in the 2009-2010 wet season to determine the presence of federally-listed branchiopods at the two pools (previous surveys with negative findings were performed by CCCI in 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 onsite). Surveys were conducted to partially satisfy the survey requirements of the USFWS 'Interim Survey Guidelines to Permittees for Recovery Permits under Section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act for the Listed Vernal Pool Branchiopods' ('Guidelines, USFWS

  6. Foraging trade-offs along a predator-permanence gradient in subalpine wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wissinger, S.A.; Whiteman, H.H.; Sparks, G.B.; Rouse, G.L.; Brown, W.S.

    1999-01-01

    We conducted a series of field and laboratory experiments to determine the direct and indirect effects of a top predator, the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum nebulosum), on larvae of two species of limnephilid caddisflies (Limnephilus externus and Asynarchus nigriculus) in subalpine wetlands in central Colorado. Asynarchus larvae predominate in temporary wetlands and are aggressive intraguild predators on Limnephilus larvae, which only predominate in permanent basins with salamanders. We first conducted a field experiment in mesocosms (cattle tanks) to quantify the predatory effects of different life stages of salamanders on the two caddisfly species. Two life stages of the salamanders (larvae and paedomorphs) preferentially preyed on Asynarchus relative to Limnephilus. Subsequent laboratory experiments revealed that high Asynarchus activity rates and relatively ineffective antipredatory behaviors led to higher salamander detection and attack rates compared to Limnephilus. In a second field experiment (full factorial for presence and absence of each of the three species), we found that salamander predation on Asynarchus had an indirect positive effect on Limnephilus: survival was higher in the presence of salamanders + Asynarchus than with just Asynarchus. In the laboratory we compared the predatory effects of salamanders with and without their mouths sewn shut and found the observed indirect positive effect on Limnephilus survival to be mainly the result of reduced numbers of Asynarchus rather than salamander-induced changes in Asynarchus behavior. We argue that indirect effects of predator-predator interactions on shared prey will be mainly density-mediated and not trait-mediated when one of the predators (in this case, Asynarchus) is under strong selection for rapid growth and therefore does not modify foraging behaviors in response to the other predator. The reciprocal dominance of Limnephilus and Asynarchus in habitats with and without salamanders

  7. Acid precipitation studies in Colorado and Wyoming: interim report of surveys of montane amphibians and water chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corn, Paul Stephen; Stolzenburg, William; Bury, R. Bruce

    1989-01-01

    Acid deposition may be detrimental or stressful to native populations of wildlife. Because many species of amphibians breed in shallow ponds created by spring rains or melting snow, they may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of acidification. From 1986 to 1988, we surveyed 105 locations in the central Rocky Mountains where amphibians had been recorded previously, and we found that two species of amphibians had experiences major losses. We found the northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) at only 4 of 33 (12%) historically known localities, and the boreal toad (Bufo boreas) was present at 10 of 59 (17%) known localities. Three other species have not suffered region-wide declines. Tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) and wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) were present at 45% and 69% of known localities respectively, and were observed at several localities were they had not been recorded previously. Chorus frogs (Pseudacris triseriata) suffered a catastrophic decline in population size in one population monitored since 1961, but regionally, this species was observed in 36 of 56 (64%) known localities and in another 19 localities where there were no previous records. Complete water chemistry was recorded for 41 localities, and pH was measured at 110 sites in total. Acid neutralizing capacity, pH, specific conductivity, and cation concentrations were negatively correlated with elevation. However, in mountain ponds and lakes, pH was rarely less than 6.0 during the amphibian breeding season. We tested the tolerance of embryos of the four species of frogs to low pH. The LC50 pH was 4.8 for chorus frogs, 4.4-4.7 for leopard frogs, 4.4-4.5 for boreal toads, and 4.2-4.3 for wood frogs. Survival of wood frog embryos declined when exposed to aluminum concentrations of 100 µg/L or greater, but boreal toad embryos survived exposure to aluminum concentrations of 400 µg/L. Acid deposition does not appear to be a major factor in the decline of leopard frogs and boreal toads